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POETRY: Poems of the Late T'ang

PEONIES 
(Li Shang-yin, translated and paraphrased by A C Graham)

The brocade curtains have just rolled back. Behold the Queen of Wei.
Still he piles up the embroidered quilts, Prince O in Yüeh.
Drooping hands disturb, tip over, pendants of carved jade:
Snapping waists compete in the dance, fluttering saffron skirts.
Shih Ch’ung’s candles — but who would clip them?
Hsün Yü’s braziers, where no incense fumes.
I who was given in a dream the brush of many colours
Wish to write on petals a message to the clouds of the morning.


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