Granted absolution on my exile to Yelang, also heard the exciting news of recapture the territory, wrote this poem to show Scholar Xi
Author: Bai Li(AD701-AD762, Tang Dynasty)
Translator: Lei Fan 2017 in Chicago
Small finches are easily captured by people’s traps,
White dragon’s eyes are shot when it turns into fish.
My misfortune of banishing has no one to blame,
It is the stupidity sinking myself into the frame-ups.
Rebels have not yet been wiped out, fierce like sharks,
Wolf-like betrayers keep on rising in revolts.
We stand helplessly like grievous prisoners of Chu,
Crying in Qing’s court, begging for other’s helps.
Fortunately, we have led by two emperors with wisdom,
Although I have already been plotted twice and exiled.
Suffered and endured on my way to Tribe of Yelang,
Move slowly and hesitantly on the desolated paths.
Calamity turns into blessing, now the injustice is rectified,
My merry heart flies out of cage, all the way to the heaven.
Also heard the news of recapture our lost territory,
Such feat even Great Emperor Guang Wu can not compare.
His Highness is now patrolling at Sword Palace,
While the crown prince is defending the Fortress Fufeng.
They are guarding the strategic locations,
The gate to the heroes is now wide open.
Our ally, army of Uyghur has advanced from Moon Caves，
Crushed enemy like thunders at east of impregnable pass.
Two mighty armies repulsed enemies from south and north,
Reclaimed Palace of Luoyang within a blink.
Turning the wheels of the chariots, striking back to Chang’an,
The impetus is to sweep across the map of China.
Founding the unchallenged supremacy heroically,
Accomplishing the triumph as vast as heaven and sea, bare handed.
The carriage of emperors is now returning Chang’an,
Two suns are both shining above on the clear sky.
Emperor Xuan has abdicated, passed the crown to Emperor Su,
Imperial sword and seal now can be passed on to descendants.
It’s a shame that I am not able to contribute even the slightest,
Who will remember a name of an hale and hearty old soul?
What are those hunters jealous of?
The wild geese flying high above the clouds.
I decide to abandon my sword , devote myself to Taoism,
Practicing hermitic art, pursuing immortality, accompanied by young servants in the divine house.
I write down this poem in this remote land, sending a message to Scholar Xi,
Even in my late years, I am determined to climb the celestial mountains, Fang Zhang and Peng Lai.