Poems of Bai Juyi
Spring Walk by Qianting Lake
Lonely Hill Temple north, Merchant's Tower west,
Surface of the water calm, lowering towers of cloud.
Everywhere the early songbirds argue in the trees.
And who are these young swallows, pecking on the sand?
Myriads of flowers slowly enchant the eye.
The new grass barely covers my horse's hooves.
I love this eastern shore. I cannot get enough of
Shadows beneath green poplars, white sands of the dike.
It is 824 and Bai Juyi, governor of Hangzhou, has recently improved the dike on West Lake for flood control and irrigation. He is happy with his work. Soon he will be recalled to the capital to be Chief Attendant of the (non-existent) Crown Prince. When he leaves Hangzhou, the people will line the streets and cry as they bid farewell to the famous poet.
Note that today Qianting is a river running around Hangzhou. Perhaps in Bai Juyi's time it was a lake as well as a river running out of it.