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Autumn Meditations (5)

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Peng lai palace imperial palace face south hill
Receive dew gold stem sky amid
West gaze jade pond descend Queen Mother of the West
East come purple vapour fill Han pass
Cloud shift pheasant tail open palace door
Sun surround dragon scales recognise holy face
One lie cold river startle year late
Number times blue chain shine morning group


Penglai imperial palace faces the southern hill,
A golden stem to catch the dew is high up in the sky.
Gazing west, the Queen Mother descends at the Jade Lake,
From the east, Han pass is filled with purple vapour.
Like shifting cloud, the pheasant tail screens of the palace open,
Bathed in sun of dragon scales, I know the holy face.
Now I lie by this cold river, amazed the year's so late,
How many times by the blue chains was I there in the morning court?

Poem by Du Fu
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