Wang Wei: Written Among the Mountains in Early Autumn

Written Among Mountains in Early Autumn

早 秋 山 中 作
无 才 不 敢 累 明 时
思 向 东 溪 守 故 篱。
不 厌 尚 平 婚 嫁 早
却 嫌 陶 令 去 官 迟。
草 堂 蛩 响 临 秋 急
山 里 蝉 声 薄 暮 悲。
寂 寞 柴 门 人 不 到
空 林 独 与 白 云 期。


Zao Qiu Shang Zhong Zuo

Wu cai bu gan lei ming shi
Si xiang dong xi shou gu li.
Bu yan shang ping hun jia zao
Que xian tao ling qu guan chi.

Cao tong qiong xiang lin qiu ju
Shan li chan sheng bo mu bei.
Ji mo chai men ren bu dao
Kong lin du yu bai yun qi.


Written Among the Mountains in Early Autumn

So long without using ability, and habitually timid, I would only create entanglements for an enlightened administration
I wish to be near the eastern stream running along my old bamboo fence.
Not satisfied, Shang Ping married off his children early
To get rid of hard feelings, Tao Yuanming stayed too long in a government position.

Noisy crickets inside my grass house feeling anxious just before autumn
Inside mountains, the pathos of thin and frail cicada sounds at sunset.
No people arrive at my lonely and deserted bramble gate
Empty forest, alone to keep an appointment with the white clouds.



Eastern stream: A metaphor for Buddhist teachings, and along with and old bamboo fence, a literary allusion to the poem Drinking Wine No. 5 by Tao Yuanming.  This major poem, and biographical information about Tao can also be found on this website.

Tao Yuanming: Famous poet of the Jin Dynasty, was sheriff of Pengze county, Jiangzi, when asked to dress up to welcome an inspector, he refused and went back into rural seclusion.

Shang Ping: A man of principle, when around 40 AD, he married off his daughters and went with a friend into the mountains, never to return.

White clouds: A common Chinese poetic metaphor for dwelling in seclusion to study, chant, and learn the ancient spiritual manuscripts.

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