Song of the Bronze Statue
In the eighth month of the first of the Qinglong era, during the reign of Enperor Ming of Wei, the court ordered a palace of- ficer to ride west and bring back the gilded bronze figure of an immortal holding a disc to catch the dew made during the reign of Emperor Wu of Han, in order to set up in the ront court. When the palace officer removed the disk and took the statue to his carriage, the bronze figure shed team. So Li Changji, descended from a prince of the House of Tang, wrote this song.
Gone that emperor of Maoling,
Rider through the autumn wind,
Whose horse neighs at night
And has passed without trace by dawn
The fragrance of autumn lingers still
On those cassia trees by painted galleries,
But on every palace hall the green moss grows.
As Wei's envoy sets out to drive a thousand Ii
The keen wind at the East Gate stings the statue's eyes...
From the mined palace he brings nothing forth
But the moon-shaped disc of Han.
True to his loTd, he sheds leaden teats.
And withered orchards by Xianyang Road
See the traveller on his way.
Ah, if Heaven had a feeling heart, it too must grow old!
He bears the disc off alone
By the light o~ a desolate moon,
The town far behind him, muted its lapping waves.