Signature: Signed, datable to 1498, 1 artist's seal
The text with minor changes in two places occurs in Wu Kuan's collected papers, Pao-an jia cangji (SPTK ED.24/6). The date 1498 may be inferred from his collected papers and tallies with the period during which he sould have been attached to the offices mentioned by him in his signature. The 28th day of the 5th month, given by Wu at the beginning of his prose account of the poem corrersponds to June 17 of the solar calendar for the year 1498.
The poem which follows the rhyme of another poem of the same title by the Tang dynasty poet Bo Zhuyi (772–846) reads:
Time to harvest wheat, and in the drought
there was no wheat:
How then were millet and beans to be sown?
Toward evening came the sound-pattering,
Heard suddenly among the dry bamboo.
Could my ears be startled so?
Wherewith, I rubbed my eyes to clear
Getting up, down to the courtyard I went.
And with robes soaked, dashed about
The gutter seemed just about to burst,
When water suddenly poured unbroken
over the eaves.
Rain fell upon the wilting green pines,
Whose branches drooped, as though
Day lilies recovered their orangish hue,
While vines and creepers grew thick
The ancient poets lavished praise upon
And so do I, harmonizing with the shower.
Releasing prisoners was being considered
during the drought,
An end to construction having already
Feeling cheerful, I did not want to go
But sat some while and asked to have
the candle lighted.
Wu's account of the circumstances under which the poem was written follows on the fan: On the evening of the 18th of the 5th month, it began to rain afrer a long drought. I was collating Bo Zhuyi's works and had just come to the work "Joy for Rain". Following its rhyme I composed a poem to express my own joy. Yuanbo (Wu Kuan) wrote this in the right chamber of the Board of Civil Office.
[Trans. Marc F. Wilson/ Kuan S. Wong]
Marking: Collectors' seals;
John M. Crawford, Jr., 2 seals