春望 Spring Outlook
国破山河在， Nations are smashed,
城春草木深 mountains and rivers remain.
感时花溅泪 A deeply felt time-- tears splash on the flowers.
恨别鸟惊心。 The ache of leaving--birds startle my heart.
烽火连三月， The beacons have been lit for three months running.
家书抵万金。 A letter from home is worth ten thousand in gold.
白头搔更短， My white hair has been torn even shorter,
浑欲不胜簪。 and can scarcely hold my hairpin.
--杜甫 --Du Fu (ca 712-ca 770)
guo po shan he zai
cheng chun cao mu shen
gan shi hua jian lei
hen bie niao jing xin
feng huo han san yue
jia shu di wan jin
bai tou sao geng duan
hun yu bu sheng zan
This is one of the most famous poems in Chinese, by one of China's greatest poets. He lived through a time of brilliant flourishing of the arts, then turmoil and disaster, when the formerly good ruler, Tang emperor Xuanzong, fell in love with his son's wife Yang Guifei, forgot his responsibilities, and eventually was driven into exile by rebels. After years of warfare, he eventually remounted the throne, but the Tang dynasty never recovered its prosperity.