Tang Shi Introduction Table of content – 300 Tang poems

An anthology of 320 poems. Discover Chinese poetry in its golden age and some of the greatest Chinese poets. Tr. by Bynner (en).

III — Seven-character-ancient-verse

46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64
65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73

Tangshi III. 1. (60)

Du Fu
A Drawing of a Horse By General Cao at Secretary Wei Feng's House

Throughout this dynasty no one had painted horses
Like the master-spirit, Prince Jiangdu –
And then to General Cao through his thirty years of fame
The world's gaze turned, for royal steeds.
He painted the late Emperor's luminous white horse.
For ten days the thunder flew over Dragon Lake,
And a pink-agate plate was sent him from the palace-
The talk of the court-ladies, the marvel of all eyes.
The General danced, receiving it in his honoured home
After this rare gift, followed rapidly fine silks
From many of the nobles, requesting that his art
Lend a new lustre to their screens.
...First came the curly-maned horse of Emperor Taizong,
Then, for the Guos, a lion-spotted horse....
But now in this painting I see two horses,
A sobering sight for whosoever knew them.
They are war- horses. Either could face ten thousand.
They make the white silk stretch away into a vast desert.
And the seven others with them are almost as noble
Mist and snow are moving across a cold sky,
And hoofs are cleaving snow-drifts under great trees-
With here a group of officers and there a group of servants.
See how these nine horses all vie with one another-
The high clear glance, the deep firm breath.
...Who understands distinction? Who really cares for art?
You, Wei Feng, have followed Cao; Zhidun preceded him.
...I remember when the late Emperor came toward his Summer Palace,
The procession, in green-feathered rows, swept from the eastern sky –
Thirty thousand horses, prancing, galloping,
Fashioned, every one of them, like the horses in this picture....
But now the Imperial Ghost receives secret jade from the River God,
For the Emperor hunts crocodiles no longer by the streams.
Where you see his Great Gold Tomb, you may hear among the pines
A bird grieving in the wind that the Emperor's horses are gone.

Bynner 60

Tang Shi III. 1. (60) IntroductionTable of content
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300 Tang poems – Tang Shi III. 1. (60) – Chinese on/offFrançais/English
Alias Tang Shi San Bai Shou, Three Hundred Poems of the Tang Dynasty, Poésie des Thang.

The Book of Odes, The Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean, Three-characters book, The Book of Changes, The Way and its Power, 300 Tang Poems, The Art of War, Thirty-Six Strategies
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