More Translations from the Chinese/The Poem on the Wall

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[20] THE POEM ON THE WALL

[A.D. 810]

[Yüan Chēn wrote that on his way to exile he had discovered a poem inscribed by Po Chü-i, on the wall of the Lo-k'ou Inn.]

My clumsy poem on the inn-wall none cared to see.
With bird-droppings and moss's growth the letters were blotched away.
There came a guest with heart so full, that though a page to the Throne,
He did not grudge with his broidered coat to wipe off the dust, and read.