Never fear, though it’s not here.
don’t you hum and sigh so,
With the wind, against the wind
we’ll make it home.

Boating at Night on West Lake

Su Tung-p’o

Wild rice stems endless on the vast lake.
Night-blooming lotus perfumes the wind and dew.
Gradually the light of a far temple appears.
When the moon goes black, I watch the lake gleam.

Tony Barnstone

Night on the Great River

Meng Hao-jan

We anchor the boat alongside a hazy island.
As the sun sets I am overwhelmed with nostalgia.
The plain stretches away without limit.
The sky is just above the tree tops.
The river flows quietly by.
The moon comes down amongst men.

Kenneth Rexroth

Stopping at Night at Hsiang-Yin

Ch’i Chi

Wind and waves rising on Lake Tung-t’ing,
the sail’s reflection cast over clear waters:
somewhere a startled swan flies up
as our lone boat chases the moon.
I see so many sites these days where battles raged.
broad-stretching fields but no trace of spring planting.
And what of my km—do they still exist,
and the groves of home near this country town?

Burton Watson

South Point

Wang Wei

I leave South Point, boat light, water
so vast who could reach North Point?
Far shores: I see villagers there beyond
knowing in all this distance, distance.

David Hinton

In the Boat, Three Chueh-chu Expressing My Feelings, To Be Presented to His Excellency the Grand Tutor with a Copy by Letter to the Palace Gentleman Wen Ta-yang

Lu Yu

Rain pelts the lone boat’s awning, wine slowly wears off ;
the fading lamp and I–both of us feeling low.
Fortune and fame never were things to be counted on,
not like the cold river’s two tides each day.

Burton Watson

Aboard a Boat, Reading Yuan Chen’s Poems

Po Ch-ui

I pick up your scroll of poems, read in front of the lamp;
the poems are ended, the lamp gutters, the sky not yet light.
My eyes hurt, I put out the lamp, go on sitting in the dark;
a sound of waves blown up by head winds, sloshing against the boat.

Burton Watson

Drifting Boat

Han Shan

Once at Cold Mountain
troubles cease,
No more tangled
hung-up mind.
I idly scribble poems on the rock cliff,
Taking whatever comes
like a drifting boat.

Gary Snyder

6th Moon, 27th Sun: Sipping Wine at Lake-View Tower

Su Tung-p’o

Setting animals loose-fish and turtles-I’m an exile out here,
but no one owns Waterlilies everywhere blooming, blooming.

This lake pillows mountains, starts them glancing up and down
and my breezy boat wanders free, drifts with an aimless moon.

David Hinton