Letter To Editor 1 Da Yuan 2 Written When I Departed on the Yangtze Waterway 3

Wei, Ying Wu   (737 A.D.-792 A.D.?)

I was sad when I left you, my friend!
My boat drifted into a fog.
I had to take this boat to return home to Lo Yang.
Though far from shore,
I could still hear the distant bells
And see the trees of Guang Ling City 4.
We parted here today.
Where will we meet again?
Worldly affairs are like a boat on turbulent water.
How can they stand still while trapped in a whirlpool?

1 An editor was a government official in charge of editing books in the imperial library.

2 "Da" is Chinese for "the first child". Da Yuan was the eldest child in the Yuan family.

3 The Yangtze Waterway is a section of the Yangtze River. Today the old location of the waterway is the south boundary of Jiabg-Du County in Jiangsu Province. In the Tang dynasty the Yangtze Waterway was a vital communication line between the north and the south lands along the Yangtze River.

4 Guang Ling City is now Yang City.