To Tempt Spring to Return

After Han Yu

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The low grasses, the tall trees: which of them tempts spring to return?
In fall, the trees flaunted their dying leaves; the grasses withered, leaving us melancholy.
Now they vie in beauty, tempting spring to return.
Even the poplar and the subtle elm offer up their pallid blossoms to the wind
To overflow the sky, to fly like snow, to tempt spring to return.

 

 

 

 

 

An account of Han Yu’s poem “Late Spring.”

h2t - late spring by Han Yu

chinese-poems.com gives us this word-by-word:

Grass tree know spring soon return
Every way red purple contend beauty
Poplar flower elm seeds without beauty
Only know overflow sky make snow fly

… so take that.

Image: Tree by Theophilos Papadopoulos, published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) license.

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