Courtyard Full of Fragrance
In balmy breeze
Fledged orioles in flight,
In gentle rain
The mumes are filling out.
At noon the rounded shadows of the stately trees
Are pools of cool delight.
Low is the plain
With hills about.
The clothes damp need incense smoke to make them dry.
It’s so reposeful that e’er crows won’t fly.
Beyond the little bridge green water sings its song.
Leaning on rails for long,
I seem to see that exiled poet who
Was fenced in by a tangle of weeds and bamboo.
From year to year
I’m like a swallow swift that leaves
For northern sea and wanders there and here,
But glad to come back under the same old eaves.
Well, why waste thoughts on downs and ups?
Just drink the ever-brimming cups!
For weary southerner with thoughts homebound,
E’en merry flutes and strings would hollow sound.
Beside the banquet table spread
Put mat and pillow on a bed
Where, drunken, I may rest my head!
Man Ting Fang
– Written at Mount Wuxiang, Lishui.
The sucking oriole matures in winds,
The green plums ripen in rains.
The tree cast clear noontime shadows round.
Since in the deep vale and wet stands my house,
I often with incense smoke my moist dress.
The crows are merry when human voice subsides,
Beyond the little bridge the spring flood a rippling music plays.
Here yellow reed and bitter bamboo grow,
A scene that tempts me to sail into River Pen.
As the swallow crosses the great sea
Only a perch to find on the long beam,
Even son, alas, wander my life’s recent years.
An emaciate figure roaming in the river’s south,
Nor the flute’s sweet music can I bear
Nor the lyre’s sad melody.
To the superfluous acquisitions give no thought,
The overflowing cup fore’er be my friend.
In the banquet hall wherein merry songs resound
Pray set for me a couch first
Whereupon drunken I may lie.