Su Dongpo: Mt. Li: Three Classical Poems of Four Lines Each: No. 3

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Mt. Li: Three Classical Poems of Four Lines Each: No. 3

骊 山: 三 绝 句
(3)
海 中 方 士 觅 三 山
万 古 明 知 去 不 还。
咫 尺 秦 陵 是 商 鉴
朝 元 何 必 苦 跻 攀。

Li Shan: San Jue Ju

(3)

Hai zhong fang shi mi san shan
Wan gu ming zhi qu bu huan
Zhi chi qin ling shi shang jian
Zhao yuan he bi ku ji pan.

 

Mt. Li: Three Classical Poems of Four Lines Each: No. 3

Emperors sent the scholars from the middle of the ocean to several of the mountains looking for immortality pills
But all ten thousand of them never came back.
All they had to do is look into bronze mirrors and see the Qin tombs to realize this folly
I do not need to climb up to Zhao Yuanhe to see all of the horizons.

 

Notes:

Mt. Li: Located northeast of the ancient capital city of Chang’an (Xi’an).

Middle of the ocean: Refers to the legendary island of Penglai.

Qin tombs: Royal tombs outside the capital city of Chang’an (Xi’an).

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