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TO QIWU QIAN BOUND HOME AFTER FAILING IN AN EXAMINATION
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.
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