More Translations from the Chinese/The Grand Houses at Lo-Yang

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More Translations from the Chinese  (1919)  by Bai Juyi, translated by Arthur Waley
The Grand Houses at Lo-Yang

[50] THE GRAND HOUSES AT LO-YANG

[Circa A.D. 829]

By woods and water, whose houses are these
With high gates and wide-stretching lands?
From their blue gables gilded fishes hang;
By their red pillars carven coursers run.
Their spring arbours, warm with caged mist;
Their autumn yards with locked moonlight cold.
To the stem of the pine-tree amber beads cling;
The bamboo-branches ooze ruby-drops.
Of lake and terrace who may the masters be?
Staff-officers, Councillors-of-State.
All their lives they have never come to see,
But know their houses only from the bailiff's map!