Du Mu: Ruined Splendour ~ 《题宣州开元寺水阁》 杜牧 with English Translations

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《题宣州开元寺水阁》 杜牧


Ruined Splendour
Du Mu

The splendour of the Six Dynasties—now a rank growth of weeds! Yet the sky is the same quiet blue, the clouds tranquil as of yore. Over the ages, birds have come and gone, fading into the gloom of the wooded hills; men have rejoiced and wept, their songs and wails alike merged in the roaring stream. In the valley below hundreds of cottages now nestle, their curtained windows hut against the late autumn rain. Oft as the sun goes down, there rises a chill wind, carrying to these lofty towers the shrill notes of a lonesome flute. What a pity Fan Li is not to be met with, that man of sagacity who retired at the zenith of his political career! Over there, near the very lakes he used to roam, the silhouette of ancient trees looms ragged through the evening haze.

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