Moonlit night

When moonbeams light more than half my house
And the Big Dipper and Southern Star criss-cross
On such a night I sense and smell a warm spring
In a cricket’s sound passing by my green window screen

Geng shen yue se ban ren jia
Bei dou lan gan nan dou xia
Jin ye pian zhi chun qi nuan
Chong sheng xin tou lu chuang sha

月 夜
更 深 月 色 半 人 家
北 斗 闌 干 南 斗 斜
今 夜 偏 知 春 氣 暖
蟲 聲 新 透 綠 窗 沙

Liu Fangping 劉 方 平

Liu (c.742 in Luoyang – c.779) began an official career quite early, but he resigned from office in his thirties to live a hermit’s life. The poem Moonlit night expresses his oneness with nature. 蟲 聲, literally bug sound, but cricket works since the criss-crossing stars imitate the sound of the cricket’s song.

Alternate translation:

Moonlit Night

As moon colors half my house
And the North Star rises and the South Star sets
I can feel in the warm air the first moment of spring
In an insect singing at my green-silk screen

moonlight

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