Up beyond the north wall lie the mountains green,
down around the east side flows the river clean.
Here we bid goodbye, you will have no more of me,
drifting along like an unrooted plant you would be.
The floating clouds have no fixed place to stay,
The setting sun looks reluctant to descend away.
I wave my hand as you mount to depart,
The neigh of the horse grieves my heart.
Written by Li Bai (701-762) – Translated by Feng Lei, director of the Confucius Institute, University of the West Indies, Mona.
Li Bai (701-762), the most popular Chinese poet, lived in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), which is the most prosperous dynasty in Chinese history. This poem, written in about 740 A.D., is one of his many famous poems about parting with friends.
Leng Mei was a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) Chinese painter active during 1677-1742. His speciality was painting human figures, particularly court ladies. This painting depicts a Spring Evening Banquet at the Peach and Pear Blossom Garden during the poet’s time.