Poems of Bai Juyi
Daybreak on Yu Tower
Alone, I lean on a red railing in the dawn.
First rays touch the mountains, make the river new,
Embrace bamboo fogs , and touch a mountain moon.
Warm winds cross and cross a river in spring flood.
Snow melts quickly from the bastion by the gates.
From the courthouse, drums precede the news.
Yu Tower has stood here three centuries long
And greeted how many home-gazing men?
It is 815 and Bai Juyi is in exile in Sichuan following his ill-timed critique of government competence. Live and learn. Exile, in general, seems good for Bai Juyi. He never succumbs to malaria. He hardly works. And he finds plenty of time to stand on towers in the dawn for the purpose of fueling his poetry.