Long songs have split the collar of my robe,
Short songs have cropped my whitening hair.
The king of Ch'in is nowhere to be seen,
So dawn and dusk fever burns in me.
A cluster of emeralds
Piercing high heaven!
Over the Great River's swelling waves
Spirits trail their mist.
No one attacks it with a long lance,
No one plies a strong cross-bow.
Suckling its grandsons, rearing its cubs,
It trains them into savagery.
Dew upon lonely orchids
Like tear-brimmed eyes.
No twining of love-knots,
Mist-wreathed flowers I cannot bear to cut.
The River of Heaven wheels round at night
Drifting the circling stars,
At Silver Bank*, the floating clouds
Mimic the murmur of water.
Willow catkins beat at the curtains,
Under sweltering spring clouds.
Screen of tortoise-shell
And dazzling clothes.
Butterflies from the eastern neighbour
Come fluttering to the west.
Today the young man has returned,
Riding his white steed.
Hsi and Ho gallop their six steeds
Days and nights leave us no leisure,
Chasing the crow to Mount Yan-zi's bamboos,
They flog their horses with a Coiling Peach whip.
Riding alone on Scarlet Hare,
Out of the gates of Ch'in,
To weep at Gold Grain Mound
In the Mao-ling tomb lies the lad named Liu,
Guest of the autumn wind.
At night we hear his whinnying horse
At dawn not a hoof-print there.