Rain Water, one of the 24 solar terms of China, is arriving. As the saying goes, good rain knows its time right. Rain Water indicates that the temperature will rise and rain will replace snow in terms of precipitation and spring comes finally. Let’s go through some Chinese poems to experience the feeling of ancient people for rain water in early spring.
Happy Rain on a Spring Night
By Du Fu
Good rain knows its time right;
It will fall when comes spring.
With wind it steals in night;
Mute, it moistens each thing.
O’er wild lanes dark cloud spreads;
In boat a lantern looms.
Dawn sees saturated reds;
The town’s heavy with blooms.
Translated by Xu Yuanchong
Early Spring in the Capital: To Zhang Ji
By Han Yu
The fine drizzle has turned the fine streets creamy—
New grass, visible from afar, vanishing when near.
This, my friend, is the best time of the spring, of the year—
Absolutely the best—before hazy willows becloud the city.
Clear Up after Spring Rain at Linan
By Lu You
Over the years world affairs seem thin as a veil,
Why should I ride off as a stranger in the capital?
In my attic all night I hear the rustle of spring rain,
At dawn apricot blooms are sold deep in the lane.
I dash off a few slanting lines on a slip of paper,
Sipping up cups of fine tea by my sunny windowpane.
Why bother to sigh for my clean coat to be smeared?
It’s not late to be home for Clear and Bright Festival.
Translated by Huang Xinqu
By Li Shangyin
I am lying in a white-lined coat while the spring approaches,
But am thinking only of the White Gate City where I cannot be.
There are two red chambers fronting the cold, hidden by the rain,
And a lantern on a pearl screen swaying my lone heart homeward.
The long road ahead will be full of new hardship,
With, late in the nights, brief intervals of dream.
Oh, to send you this message, this pair of jade earrings!
I watch a lonely wildgoose in three thousand miles of cloud.