Lovely Nian-nu (Passing Lake Dong-ting)
Zhang, Xiao-xiang (1132-1169)
Lake Dong-ting and Lake Qing-cao (green grass) do not have any wind at all as
the Mid-autumn Festival comes near. The lakes' 30,000 acres are a field of jade
and carry my boat like a leaf. The simple moon shines light on the translucent
Milky Way. I smile as I appreciate the order of nature. It is difficult for me
to explain the wonder of its subtlety.
I recall while I was the commissioner responsible for soothing the people in
Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces. I was proud of my work. My liver and gall were
shining and lustrous like ice and snow 1. My short hair is blown by
the wind. My lapel and sleeves are cold. As I float my boat stably on the vast
waves, I shall drink all the water in Xi River and ladle wine with the Great
Dipper 2. All manifestations of nature are my guest. Drumming the
hull, I sing alone and wonder what night is tonight.
1 This description implies that Zhang was morally clean (honesty
This sentence says that Zhang was broad-minded and aimed high.