Poems of Xue Tao
Trying to Make My Own Clothes, I Succeed for the First Time, in three verses
Setting sunlight in the palace, a gift of red silk.
Mists are dimming the moon that rises on the lake.
Moon rabbit shivers in a clear coccoon of ice
And Chang E smiles as the Bridge of Birds appears.
Nine spirits divide into nine rosy mists.
Five magic immortals ride upon five clouds.
From the East Lord's mansion come the winds of spring
That stealthily cover the human world in blossoms.
Long gown panels were originally for pure rights.
Once we chased immortals to take their jade mushrooms.
Now whenever I arrive at a dance in the palace, you must
Admire my waist and my singing with appropriate empty words.
I think this poem comes from Xue Tao's early years with Wei Gao. And I think it shows their mutual affection. The poem is an exaggerated poem, the enthusiasm of someone still young. Someone happy. You would think the two of them were in love. Or she, at least, is in love with Wei Gao. We have no record of his thoughts. The moon rabbit is the one who eternally pounds the medicine of immortality in a pestle. Chang E is the woman in the moon. The Bridge of Birds is the bridge of magpies which on the seventh day of the seventh moon allows the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl to reunite for a night. The East Lord is god of the sun and of spring. And it looks like Wei Gao is the one who turned Xue Tao on to mushrooms. Come to think of it, this poem is a little trippy...