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Circa A.D. 750

Of his life we know little, save that he was the intimate friend of the great poet Tu Fu, and came of a noble family. He was, moreover, Censor under the Emperor Su Tsung (A.D. 756-762), and rose to be Governor of Chia-chou. What remains of his verse mostly takes the form of quatrains, yet for originality of thought, wealth of imagery and style, they have seldom been excelled. He was a master of metre, and contributed certain modifications to the laws of Chinese prosody which exist to the present day.

A Dream of Spring

Last night within my chamber's gloom some vague light breath of Spring Came wandering and whispering, and bade my soul take wing.

A hundred moonlit miles away the Chiang crept to sea; O keeper of my heart, I came by Chiang's ford to thee.

It lingered but a moment's space, that dream of Spring, and died; Yet as my head the pillows pressed, my soul had found thy side.

Oh! Chiang Nan's a hundred miles, yet in a moment's space I've flown away to Chiang Nan and touched a dreaming face.

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