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Best Famous Wang Wei Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Wang Wei poems. This is a select list of the best famous Wang Wei poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Wang Wei poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Wang Wei poems.

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by Wang Wei |


I have sailed the River of Yellow Flowers, 
Borne by the channel of a green stream, 
Rounding ten thousand turns through the mountains 
On a journey of less than thirty miles.... 
Rapids hum over heaped rocks; 
But where light grows dim in the thick pines, 
The surface of an inlet sways with nut-horns 
And weeds are lush along the banks. 
...Down in my heart I have always been as pure 
As this limpid water is.... 
Oh, to remain on a broad flat rock 
And to cast a fishing-line forever! 

by Wang Wei |


There's a girl from Loyang in the door across the street, 
She looks fifteen, she may be a little older. 
...While her master rides his rapid horse with jade bit an bridle, 
Her handmaid brings her cod-fish in a golden plate. 
On her painted pavilions, facing red towers, 
Cornices are pink and green with peach-bloom and with willow, 
Canopies of silk awn her seven-scented chair, 
And rare fans shade her, home to her nine-flowered curtains. 
Her lord, with rank and wealth and in the bud of life, 
Exceeds in munificence the richest men of old. 
He favours this girl of lowly birth, he has her taught to dance; 
And he gives away his coral-trees to almost anyone. 
The wind of dawn just stirs when his nine soft lights go out, 
Those nine soft lights like petals in a flying chain of flowers. 
Between dances she has barely time for singing over the songs; 
No sooner is she dressed again than incense burns before her. 
Those she knows in town are only the rich and the lavish, 
And day and night she is visiting the hosts of the gayest mansions. 
...Who notices the girl from Yue with a face of white jade, 
Humble, poor, alone, by the river, washing silk? 

by Wang Wei |


Since beauty is honoured all over the Empire, 
How could Xi Shi remain humbly at home? -- 
Washing clothes at dawn by a southern lake -- 
And that evening a great lady in a palace of the north: 
Lowly one day, no different from the others, 
The next day exalted, everyone praising her. 
No more would her own hands powder her face 
Or arrange on her shoulders a silken robe. 
And the more the King loved her, the lovelier she looked, 
Blinding him away from wisdom. 
...Girls who had once washed silk beside her 
Were kept at a distance from her chariot. 
And none of the girls in her neighbours' houses 
By pursing their brows could copy her beauty. 

by Wang Wei |


I dismount from my horse and I offer you wine, 
And I ask you where you are going and why. 
And you answer: "I am discontent 
And would rest at the foot of the southern mountain. 
So give me leave and ask me no questions. 
White clouds pass there without end." 

by Wang Wei |


The mountains are cold and blue now 
And the autumn waters have run all day. 
By my thatch door, leaning on my staff, 
I listen to cicadas in the evening wind. 
Sunset lingers at the ferry, 
Supper-smoke floats up from the houses. 
...Oh, when shall I pledge the great Hermit again 
And sing a wild poem at Five Willows? 

by Wang Wei |


A fisherman is drifting, enjoying the spring mountains, 
And the peach-trees on both banks lead him to an ancient source. 
Watching the fresh-coloured trees, he never thinks of distance 
Till he comes to the end of the blue stream and suddenly- strange men! 
It's a cave-with a mouth so narrow that he has to crawl through; 
But then it opens wide again on a broad and level path -- 
And far beyond he faces clouds crowning a reach of trees, 
And thousands of houses shadowed round with flowers and bamboos.... 
Woodsmen tell him their names in the ancient speech of Han; 
And clothes of the Qin Dynasty are worn by all these people 
Living on the uplands, above the Wuling River, 
On farms and in gardens that are like a world apart, 
Their dwellings at peace under pines in the clear moon, 
Until sunrise fills the low sky with crowing and barking. 
...At news of a stranger the people all assemble, 
And each of them invites him home and asks him where he was born. 
Alleys and paths are cleared for him of petals in the morning, 
And fishermen and farmers bring him their loads at dusk.... 
They had left the world long ago, they had come here seeking refuge; 
They have lived like angels ever since, blessedly far away, 
No one in the cave knowing anything outside, 
Outsiders viewing only empty mountains and thick clouds. 
...The fisherman, unaware of his great good fortune, 
Begins to think of country, of home, of worldly ties, 
Finds his way out of the cave again, past mountains and past rivers, 
Intending some time to return, when he has told his kin. 
He studies every step he takes, fixes it well in mind, 
And forgets that cliffs and peaks may vary their appearance. 
...It is certain that to enter through the deepness of the mountain, 
A green river leads you, into a misty wood. 
But now, with spring-floods everywhere and floating peachpetals -- 
Which is the way to go, to find that hidden source? 

by Wang Wei |


When he was a youth of fifteen or twenty, 
He chased a wild horse, he caught him and rode him, 
He shot the white-browed mountain tiger, 
He defied the yellow-bristled Horseman of Ye. 
Fighting single- handed for a thousand miles, 
With his naked dagger he could hold a multitude. 
...Granted that the troops of China were as swift as heaven's thunder 
And that Tartar soldiers perished in pitfalls fanged with iron, 
General Wei Qing's victory was only a thing of chance. 
And General Li Guang's thwarted effort was his fate, not his fault. 
Since this man's retirement he is looking old and worn: 
Experience of the world has hastened his white hairs. 
Though once his quick dart never missed the right eye of a bird, 
Now knotted veins and tendons make his left arm like an osier. 
He is sometimes at the road-side selling melons from his garden, 
He is sometimes planting willows round his hermitage. 
His lonely lane is shut away by a dense grove, 
His vacant window looks upon the far cold mountains 
But, if he prayed, the waters would come gushing for his men 
And never would he wanton his cause away with wine. 
...War-clouds are spreading, under the Helan Range; 
Back and forth, day and night, go feathered messages; 
In the three River Provinces, the governors call young men -- 
And five imperial edicts have summoned the old general. 
So he dusts his iron coat and shines it like snow- 
Waves his dagger from its jade hilt in a dance of starry steel. 
He is ready with his strong northern bow to smite the Tartar chieftain -- 
That never a foreign war-dress may affront the Emperor. 
...There once was an aged Prefect, forgotten and far away, 
Who still could manage triumph with a single stroke. 

by Wang Wei |


In a happy reign there should be no hermits; 
The wise and able should consult together.... 
So you, a man of the eastern mountains, 
Gave up your life of picking herbs 
And came all the way to the Gate of Gold -- 
But you found your devotion unavailing. 
...To spend the Day of No Fire on one of the southern rivers, 
You have mended your spring clothes here in these northern cities. 
I pour you the farewell wine as you set out from the capital -- 
Soon I shall be left behind here by my bosomfriend. 
In your sail-boat of sweet cinnamon-wood 
You will float again toward your own thatch door, 
Led along by distant trees 
To a sunset shining on a far-away town. 
...What though your purpose happened to fail, 
Doubt not that some of us can hear high music. 

by Wang Wei |


In the slant of the sun on the country-side, 
Cattle and sheep trail home along the lane; 
And a rugged old man in a thatch door 
Leans on a staff and thinks of his son, the herdboy. 
There are whirring pheasants? full wheat-ears, 
Silk-worms asleep, pared mulberry-leaves. 
And the farmers, returning with hoes on their shoulders, 
Hail one another familiarly. 
...No wonder I long for the simple life 
And am sighing the old song, Oh, to go Back Again! 

by Wang Wei |

A Song of an Autumn Night.

 Under the crescent moon a light autumn dew 
Has chilled the robe she will not change -- 
And she touches a silver lute all night, 
Afraid to go back to her empty room.