The Emperor’s Return from a Journey to the South (a “Written Picture” by Wen Cheng-Ming [16th Century])

Like a sage, he comes,
The Most Noble.
In his lacquered imperial chariot
He awes the hundred living things.
He is clouded with the purple smoke of incense;
A round umbrella
Protects the Son of Heaven.
Exquisite is the beauty
Of the two-edged swords,
Of the chariots,
Of the star-embroidered shoes of his attendants.
The Sun and Moon fans are borne before him,
And he is preceded by sharp spears
And the blowing brightness of innumerable flags.
The Spring wind proclaims the Emperor’s return,
Binding the ten thousand districts together
In a chorded harmony of Peace and Satisfaction,
So that white-haired men and the multitudes rejoice,
And I wish to add my ode
In praise of perfect peace.