I: The Road to Shu is Hard (Li Bai)
Dangerous and High.
The road to Shu is harder than
climbing the sky.
Cancong and Yufu forged this boundless country.
years later, finally,
relations with the Qin have begun,
the passing of settlersí smoke.
Taibai to the west:
can pass it, reaching out
as far as Emei peak.
collapses. The mountain
Warriors (strong) die.
Sky-steps hook together
on the cliff-face walkway.
Above, six dragons drag the Sun chariot back
to avoid the high peak.
Below, rushing waves whirlpool, churning back
Yellow cranes canít fly over it. Monkeys and gibbons yearn
to cross it, but they hang,
The heights of Qingni.
Nine bends. One hundred steps.
Coiling through the rocks
Touch Orion. Pass Gemini.
Look up, panting, heaving.
Hand on the chest.
Sit with a long sigh.
Tell me, Westward Voyager:
When will you come back?
These crags on this trip are insurmountable.
Tragic birds moan on ancient trees.
Circling in the forest cocks fly,
chased by hens. The cuckoos
yelp at the moonlight.
Sad, desolate mountain.
The road to Shu is harder than climbing
the sky. Hear this
and your face bleaches out.
These linked peaks are a foot from the sky.
Decrepit pines hang upside-down
from the cliff face.
Flying and bursting, waterfalls cascade
with whooshes and whirs.
Thundering gullies spin stones and
How dangerous this is.
Why in hell are you coming this way?
Lofty and steep, Sword Hall on the rocky peaks.
With one man blocking
the pass, ten thousand troops canít
And if the guards are not kinsmen,
they turn into
Avoid the wild tigers in the morning.
Avoid the long snakes in the night.
Theyíll sharpen their teeth.
Theyíll suck your blood.
Theyíll kill you like flax.
Happy talk of the Brocaded City
is no match
for an early trip
The road to Shu
Harder than climbing
Sidle back. Look west.
All my sighs