756. Drinking Song, by Ts'ao Ts'ao

Drinking, I sing of peace and of equality:

The tax collector knocks at no gate;
all rulers are virtuous and bright,
and their arms and legs, the ministers, are kind.

The people are well mannered, yielding without
foregoing litigation.

Three years' tilling makes nine years' provisions—
granaries overflow.
Our elders' backs are freed from loads.
Each fecund rain
contributes to the harvest.

Our fastest horses are withdrawn from war
to carry fertilizer.

Those who hold land or titles
show genuine affection for people,
promoting or demoting by merit,
attending like fathers or brothers.

receive a fitting punishment.
No one keeps what's found beside the road.
The prisons are all empty.
Midwinter courts have no criminals to try.

People of eight or ninety
live out their lives quite naturally.

Great virtue impermeates it all—
even trees and plants and tiny things that crawl.

(trans Sam Hamill)

Source: Crossing the Yellow River: Three Hundred Poems from the Chinese

757. The Song of Wandering Aengus, by W. B. Yeats

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

Source: The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats

758. VI from the Divan of Hafiz

A flower-tinted cheek, the flowery close
Of the fair earth, these are enough for me—
Enough that in the meadow wanes and grows
The shadow of a graceful cypress-tree.
I am no lover of hypocrisy;
Of all the treasures that the earth can boast,
A brimming cup of wine I prize the most—
                           This is enough for me!

To them that here renowned for virtue live,
A heavenly palace is the meet reward;
To me, the drunkard and the beggar, give
The temple of the grape with red wine stored!
Beside a river seat thee on the sward;
It floweth past—so flows thy life away,
So sweetly, swiftly, fleets our little day—
                           Swift, but enough for me!

Look upon all the gold in the world's mart,
On all the tears the world hath shed in vain;
Shall they not satisfy thy craving heart?
I have enough of loss, enough of gain;
I have my Love, what more can I obtain?
Mine in the joy of her companionship
Whose healing lip is laid upon my lip—
                            This is enough for me!

I pray thee send not forth my naked soul
From its poor house to seek for Paradise;
Though heaven and earth before me God unroll,
Back to thy village still my spirit flies.
And, Hafiz, at the door of Kismet lies
No just complaint—a mind like water clear,
A song that swells and dies upon the ear,
                            These are enough for thee!

(trans Gertrude Bell)

Source: Poems of Hafiz