AN EARLY LEVÉE
Addressed to Ch'en, the Hermit
At Ch'ang-an — a full foot of snow ;
A levée at dawn — to bestow congratulations on the Emperor.
Just as I was nearing the Gate of the Silver Terrace,
After I had left the suburb of Hsin-ch'ang
On the high causeway my horse's foot slipped;
In the middle of the journey my lantern suddenly went out
Ten leagues riding, always facing to the North ;
The cold wind almost blew off my ears.
I waited for the bell outside the Five Gates ;
I waited for the summons within the Triple Hall,
My hair and beard were frozen and covered with icicles ;
My coat and robe — chilly like water.
Suddenly I thought of Hsien-yu Valley
And secretly envied Ch'en Chü-shih,
In warm bed-socks dozing beneath the rugs
And not getting up till the sun has mounted the sky.