春夜喜雨 (Delightful Spring Night Rain)
— Du Fu (杜甫), 8th century Chinese poet
The good rain knows the season when it’s right
With spring upon us, timely does it tread
It trails the wind, comes stealing in at night
Bedews all things with thin and soundless threads.
Above the wild paths all the clouds are black
While lonely light on river barge does glow
At dawn the earth in spots is red and damp
On Citadel of Silk1 the blossoms blow.
Jinguancheng, the Citadel of the Silk Service (锦官城), was a nickname for Chengdu (成都) in Sichuan for the silk management bureau in that city. A variation on this name was Jincheng, the Silk Citadel (锦城), which is the one I used for cadence in this translation. ↩︎