More Translations from the Chinese/Visiting the Hsi-Lin Temple

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[32] VISITING THE HSI-LIN TEMPLE

[Written during his exile]

I dismount from my horse at the Hsi-lin Temple;
I throw the porter my slender riding-whip.
In the morning I work at a Government office-desk;
In the evening I become a dweller in the Sacred Hills.
In the second month to the north of Kuang-lu
The ice breaks and the snow begins to melt.
On the southern plantation the tea-plant thrusts its sprouts;
Through the northern sluice the veins of the spring ooze.
*********
This year there is war in An-hui,
In every place soldiers are rushing to arms.
Men of learning have been summoned to the Council Board;
Men of action are marching to the battle-line.
Only I, who have no talents at all,
Am left in the mountains to play with the pebbles of the stream.