The Khwun-ming Lake

BY TU FU

In ancient times the flags of Wu
Made gay the Khwun-ming Lake,
On which his ships in mimic strife
The decks of foemen rake.
But now deserted is the scene,
And in the moon's pale light,
The Spinning-Maid upon the shore
Sits silent in the night.
The Autumn breezes seem to move
The mammoth stony whales,
And send a tremor through their frames
Vibrating all their scales.
The Ku-mi seeds float on the waste,
As clouds of sombre hue;
The lotus-flowers are crushed beneath
The weight of frozen dew.
While from the cloud-capped Pass above,
The eagle's eye aglow,
Sees but an aged fisherman
Midst lakes and streams below.