Farewell to Xing-zong Cui 1

Pei, Di (716 A.D.-?)

When you retire to the mountain,
You must explore the beauty of each hill and valley
Whether you are near the entrance or deep into the forest.
Do not imitate the man from Wu-ling
Who remained in the Arcadia 2 only for a short duration.

(Wei Wang to Xing-zong Cui)

After we part at the corner of the city wall,
When will we meet again?
There are laurel flowers on the mountain.
Do not wait until the flowers fall like snow.

(Xing-zong Cui to Wei Wang and Di Pei)

As I tether my horse to say farewell,
The chill covers the moat of the palace wall.
Although the scenery of the mountain in front of me looks wonderful,
Going there alone makes me melancholy.

1 Wei Wang, Di Pei and Xing-zong Cui were court officials and good friends. They often wrote to one another in poems. After evil Lin-pu Li became the prime minister, these three people lost interest in their political careers and desired to retire to Zhong-nan Mountain. When Xing-zong Cui decided to retire to Zhong-nan Mountain. Pei and Wang asked Cui to report on his mountain life for their future reference. Eventually, they all retired to Zhong-nan Mountain.

2 This word alludes to a story of a man who went through a peach orchard and discovered a valley where people were living in peace, and were quite ignorant of passing events such as dynasty changes.