I, Du Fu, the duke’s elderly guest,
Finished my wine, drunkenly sang, and waved a golden halberd.
I mounted my horse and suddenly remembered the days of my youth,
The flying hooves sent stones pouring down into Qutang gorge.
Baidicheng’s city gates are beyond the water’s clouds,
Bending over, I plunged straight down eight thousand feet.
Whitewashed battlements passed like lightning, the purple reins were loose,
Then east, I reached the level ridge, out past heaven’s cliff.
River villages and country halls vied to enter my eyes,
The whip hung down, the bridle drooped, I reached the crimson road.
All the ten thousand people amazed by my silver head,
I trusted to the riding and shooting skills of my rosy-cheeked youth.
How could I know that bursting its chest, hooves chasing the wind,
That racing horse, red with sweat, breathing spurts of jade,
Would unexpectedly take a tumble and end up injuring me?
In human life, taking pleasure often leads to shame.
That’s why I’m feeling sad, lying on quilts and pillows,
Being in the sunset of my life only adds to the bother.
When I knew you’d come to visit, I wanted to hide my face,
With a bramble stick I manage to rise, leaning on a servant.
Then, after we’ve finished talking, we open our mouths and laugh,
Giving me support, you help to sweep by the clear stream’s bend.
Wine and meat are piled up like mountains once again,
The feast starts: sad strings and brave bamboo sound out.
Together, we point to the western sun, not to be granted us long,
Noise and exclamations, then we tip the cup of clear wine.
Why did you have to hurry your horses, coming to ask after me?
Don’t you remember Xi Kang, who nourished life and got killed?
[Apologies for this terrible report, I’ve run out of time. Was a good, tough game… Order Sergeant Spam and shifting links wasn’t something I’d predicted, and it was not easily dealt with! hopefuly Tang poetry will provide some modicum of compensation.]