|The Rhyme Maker
Special Note: The Wine Poems
Chieh (723-772), Chinese poet
by Arthur Waley (1889-1966), British scholar/poet
loved you dearly, Stone Fish Lake,
your rock-island like a swimming fish!
the fish's back is the Wine-cup Hollow,
round the fish,— the flowing waters of the Lake.
boys on the shore sent little wooden ships.
made to carry a single cup of wine.
island-drinkers emptied the liquor-boats
set their sails and sent them back for more.
the shores of the Lake were jutting slabs of rock
under the rocks there flowed an icy stream.
with wine, to rinse our mouths and hands
those cold waters was a joy beyond compare!
gold and jewels I have not any need;
Caps and Coaches I do not care at all.
I wish I could sit on the rocky banks of the Lake
ever and ever staring at the Stone Fish.
from A Hundred and Seventy Chinese