Poems | Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


--to the tune of Nien Nu Chiao

October 1935


Far above the earth, into the blue,
You, wild Kunlun, have seen
All that was fairest in the world of men.
Your three million white jade dragons in flight*
Freeze the sky with piercing cold.
In summer days your melting torrents
Flood the streams and rivers,
Turning men into fish and turtles.
Who has passed judgement on the good and ill
You have wrought these thousand autumns?
To Kunlun now I say,
Neither all your height
Nor all your snow is needed.
Could I but draw my sword o'ertopping heaven,
I'd cleave you in three:
One piece for Europe,
One for America,
One to keep in the East.
Peace would then reign over the world,
The same warmth and cold throughout the globe.


An ancient poet said: "While the three million white jade dragons were fighting, the air was filled with their tattered scales flying." Thus he described the flying snow. I have borrowed the image to describe the snow-covered mountains. In summer, when one climbs to the top of Minshan, one looks out on a host of mountains, all white, undulating as in a dance. Among the local people a legend was current to the effect that all these mountains were afire until the Monkey King borrowed a palm leaf fan and quenched the flames, so that the mountains turned white.


Poems | Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung