Poems | Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung


--to the tune of lu shih poems

July 1, 1958


When I read in the Renmin Ribao of June 30, 1958 that schistosomiasis had been wiped out in Yukiang County, thoughts thronged my mind and I could not sleep. In the warm morning breeze next day, as sunlight falls on my window, I look towards the distant southern sky and in my happiness pen the following lines.


So many green streams and blue hills, but to what avail ?
This tiny creature left even Hua To powerless!
Hundreds of villages choked with weeds, men wasted away;
Thousands of homes deserted, ghosts chanted mournfully.
Motionless, by earth I travel eighty thousand li a day,
Surveying the sky I see a myriad Milky Ways from afar.
Should the Cowherd ask tidings of the God of Plague,
Say the same griefs flow down the stream of time.


The spring wind blows amid profuse willow wands,
Six hundred million in this land all equal Yao and Shun.
Crimson rain swirls in waves under our will,
Green mountains turn to bridges at our wish.
Gleaming mattocks fall on the Five Ridges heaven-high;
Mighty arms move to rock the earth round the Triple River.
We ask the God of Plague: "Where are you bound ?"
Paper barges aflame and candle-light illuminate the sky.


Poems | Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung