Docking at City E 1 for the Night 2

Lu, Lun    (?-799A.D.?)

When the clouds dispersed,
I could see Han-Yang City 3 in the distance.
But I knew that it would take an entire day on a lonely sailboat to get there.
Business passengers had slept during the day,
So the waves must have been calm.
While listening to the boatmen's conversation,
I felt the tide rising at night.
I, with my gray-haired temples, had wandered all over Hunan Province 4.
All I had seen was an autumn scene.
Being a thousand miles away from home,
I was homesick as I watched the bright moon.
My old home was destroyed by the war.
How can I endure the sound of war drums 5 coming over the waters?

1 Today City E is Wuhan in Hubei Province.

2 The poem was written between 756 A.D. and 758 A.D., during the early stage of the government war against the rebellion. In the fall of 757 A.D., the government took back the capital and gained the upper hand during the early stage of the war. Around that time, Lu was on his way back to his hometown, Yong-Ji in Shanxi Province.

3 Han-Yang City is one of the three cities that make up Wuhan.

4 During that time, Lu was a refugee since his hometown was occupied by the rebel troops.

5 The war against the rebellion was still going on.