To “Pounding Silk Floss”
The deep hall is silent,
The little courtyard is deserted.
Off and on go the taps on the cold slaps;
off and on goes the wind.
Unendurable is the night’s length and a man’s wakefulness,
As a few sounds in the moonlight pierce the screened casements.
Tune: “Buddhist Dancers”
Bright flowers bathed in thin mist and dim moonlight,
‘Tis best time to steal out to see my love tonight.
With stocking feet on fragrant steps I tread,
Holding in hand my shoes sown with gold thread.
We meet south of the painted hall,
And trembling in his arms I fall.
“It’s hard for me to come o’er here,
So you may love your fill, my dear!”
Spring Flower and Autumn Moon
(To the Tune of Yumeiren)
When will the endless cycle
of the spring flower and the autumn moon
come to an end?
How much remembrance of the things past
does a heart know?
Last night, in the attic revisted
by the eastern wind,
it was unbearable to look
toward home in the fair moonlight.
The carved rails and the marble steps must remain
unchanged, but not her beauty.
How much sorrow do I have?
It is like the spring flood of a long river flowing east!
Tune: “Pure Serene Music”
Spring has half gone since we two parted;
I can see nothing now but broken-hearted.
Plum blossoms fall below the steps like whirling snow;
They cover me still though brushed off a while ago.
No message comes from the wild geese’s song;
In dreams you cannot come back for the road is long.
The grief of separation like spring grass
Grows each day you’re farther away, alas!
Sorrow of the Separation
(To the Tune of Xiangjianhuan)
I step up the western tower.
The moon appears like a hook.
The lone parasol tree locks the clear autumn
in the deep courtyard.
What cannot be cut,
is the sorrow of separation:
Nothing tastes like that to the heart.