A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems/Stone Fish Lake

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search


By Yüan Chieh [flourished circa A. D. 740–770].

Yüan Chieh, a contemporay of Li Po, has not hitherto been mentioned in any European book. "His subjects were always original, but his poems are seldom worth quoting," is a Chinese opinion of him.

I Loved you dearly. Stone Fish Lake,
With your rock-island shaped like a swimming fish!
On the fish's back is the Wine-cup Hollow
And round the fish,— the flowing waters of the Lake.
The boys on the shore sent little wooden ships.
Each made to carry a single cup of wine.
The island-drinkers emptied the liquor-boats
And set their sails and sent them back for more.
On the shores of the Lake were jutting slabs of rock
And under the rocks there flowed an icy stream.
Heated with wine to rinse our mouths and hands
In those cold waters was a joy beyond compare!

Of gold and jewels I have not any need;
For Caps and Coaches I do not care at all.
But I wish I could sit on the rocky banks of the Lake
For ever and ever staring at the Stone Fish.