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Down to City J 1

Li, Pai  (701 A.D.-762 A.D.)

One morning as I departed from the City of the White Dragon
I was surrounded by colorful clouds.
In one day
I returned to City J,
A thousand miles away.
While the apes on either shore continued to bellow 2,
My light boat passed a thousand mountains.




1 Pai Li was involved in a rebellion and originally sentenced to death. Fortunately, someone came to rescue him. Consequently, Li avoided a death sentence and was instead exiled to City Y, close to the origin of the Yangtze River. He had to part from his wife and children and go into exile alone. Li was very upset as he traveled to City Y. When he reached the City of the White Dragon, he was notified that the emperor had pardoned him. The poem reflects his joy at the news that he could return home.

2 Apes symbolize foolish people. The bellowing noise indicates either drunk reveling or brawling.