Poems of Xue Tao
Thanking Palace Secretary Du
For the two fish you ended up bringing to our house.
For beating time to a new poem as a red sunset faded.
For singing by the duckweed that bloomed round the bend.
For lotuses, a dark sky, and Sichuan River's flowers.
I'd say this was a later poem from Xue Tao's Xichuan days. It's a good poem, better than many of her poems that have come down to us. I have a theory that her good poems were the four hundred or more in the Brocade River Collection which was lost. And the seventy-six we are left with were the ones she tried to hold back from posterity. At least she didn't burn them.
Secretary Du sounds like someone you'd like to have as a guest, doesn't he? He probably caught the two fish he brought along with him. He likes poetry and fishing and singing and spending time outdoors. There is none of Xue Tao's irony in this poem which she freely dishes out to those guests who can stay away if they'd be so kind...