Classic and Contemporary Poetry
THE RUINS OF LO-YANG, by TS'AO CHIH
First Line: I climb to the ridge of pei mang mountain
Last Line: I am heart-tied and cannot speak.
Alternate Author Name(s): Tzu-chien
Subject(s): China - Middle Ages (600 B.c.- 618 A.d.); Ruins
I CLIMB to the ridge of Pei Mang Mountain
And look down on the city of Lo-yang.
In Lo-yang how still it is!
Palaces and houses all burnt to ashes.
Walls and fences all broken and gaping,
Thorns and brambles shooting up to the sky.
I do not see the old old-men:
I only see the new young men.
I turn aside, for the straight road is lost:
The fields are overgrown and will never be ploughed again.
I have been away such a long time
That I do not know which street is which.
How sad and ugly the empty moors are!
A thousand miles without the smoke of a chimney.
I think of the house I lived in all those years:
I am heart-tied and cannot speak.
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