Demon Child, Prefacing Poem.
from Ono Fuyumi's Mashou no Ko.
Wang Wei's Seeing the Librarian Chao Jian off on his return to Japan.
The end of the accumulated waters cannot be reached,
So how does one know what is east of the blue sea?
How far away are the Nine Territories?
Going ten-thousand miles is like riding upon the sky.
Facing that country, one simply sees the sun.
Returning ships only follow the wind.
The turtle's body reflects the darkness of the heavens.
The fish's eyes redden the waves.
The local trees are at a distance from the Hibiscus.
You, master, are in the middle of the solitary island.
The point of separation is in another realm,
Though correspondence still passes through.
[Note: Obviously, I am not an expert at translating Tang poetry, so this is but an attempt. There are many allusions in the piece, as is standard in any good Chinese poem, but the following are some that I thought might need more explicit mention: the "Nine Territories" of line 3, jiuzhou, may refer to China, or to Japan (Kyuushuu); the "Hibiscus" mentioned in line 9 refers to a great tree, Fusang, from which the sun springs every morning, and it has come to represent Japan.]