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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 and trustworthy).

2 This sentence says that Zhang was broad-minded and aimed high.