I Visit Qiantang Lake in Spring

(after Bai Juyi)


I could go north to Gushan temple, or west to Jiating.
I could. But here… here, I am between the calm water and the drifting clouds,
Where the young orioles squabble over perches in the sun,
Where the swallows have returned, and now are harvesting the spring mud.

Unruly flowers sprang up while I was looking elsewhere,
While my horse waded through the new grass.

No, I’ll go east again, where I long to wander
Beneath the green poplars, on White Sand Trail.


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