Of Youth

(after Li-Tai-Po)

In the middle of a small pond
Stands a pavilion of green
And of white porcelain.

Like the back of a tiger
The bridge of jade arches over
To the pavilion.

In the little house sit friends,
Beautifully dressed, drinking, chatting,
Some write down verses.

Their silken sleeves slip backwards,
Their silken caps perch merrily
On the backs of their necks.

On the little pond’s still surface
Everything appears
Wonderfully in mirror image.

Everything is standing on its head
In the pavilion of green
And of white porcelain.

Like a half-moon stands the bridge,
Its arch inverted.
Friends, beautifully dressed, drink, chat.

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