A SONG OF WHITE SNOW IN FAREWELL
TO FIELD-CLERK WU GOING HOME
The north wind rolls the white grasses and breaks them；
And the Eighth-month snow across the Tartar sky
Is like a spring gale, come up in the night,
Blowing open the petals of ten thousand peartrees.
It enters the pearl blinds, it wets the silk curtains；
A fur coat feels cold, a cotton mat flimsy；
Bows become rigid, can hardly be drawn
And the metal of armour congeals on the men；
The sand-sea deepens with fathomless ice,
And darkness masses its endless clouds；
But we drink to our guest bound home from camp,
And play him barbarian lutes, guitars, harps；
Till at dusk, when the drifts are crushing our tents
And our frozen red flags cannot flutter in the wind,
We watch him through Wheel-Tower Gate going eastward.
Into the snow-mounds of Heaven-Peak Road……
And then he disappears at the turn of the pass,
Leaving behind him only hoof-prints.