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A Feast of Lanterns, by L. Cranmer-Byng, [1916], at

p. 63


A.D. 768-824

One of the wittiest and most brilliant of the Tang statesmen and philosophers, Han Yü's poetry has been overshadowed by his prose essays, which have been upheld as models of Chinese literature. He attempted to found a new school of Confucianism, being a bitter opponent of the Buddhist tendencies of his day, and was banished to a semi-barbarous region which he set to work to civilise. Su Tung-p‘o, the great Sung poet, wrote a magnificent poem to his memory which has been translated by Professor Giles (cf. Chinese Literature, p. 161).


Still moonlight floods the inner gallery,
Where the japonica sets fluttering
Her silvered petals. Languidly
I rise, and let my absent glance
Fall where the shadows of the swing
Over the door-step dance.

I am possessed
By spring's rough humid winds that penetrate
The silken curtains of my lonely state,
And cannot rest,

p. 64

For all my sorrow.
During the night I hear the heavy rain
Crash on the lotus pool afar.
To-morrow! ah to-morrow!
The little boat lies swamped that I would fain
Have steered in search of the golden nenuphar.

Next: In Yung-Yang