Boundless grasses over the plain Come and go with every season; Wildfire never quite consumes them -- They are tall once more in the spring wind.
In the tenth year of Yuanhe I was banished and demoted to be assistant official in Jiujiang. In the summer of the next year I was seeing a friend leave Penpu and heard in the midnight from a neighbouring boat a guitar played in the manner of the capital. Upon inquiry, I found that the player had formerly been a dancing-girl there and in her maturity had been married to a merchant. I invited her to my boat to have her play for us. She told me her story, heyday and then unhappiness. Since my departure from the capital I had not felt sad; but that night, after I left her, I began to realize my banishment. And I wrote this long poem -- six hundred and twelve characters. I was bidding a guest farewell, at night on the Xunyang River, Where maple-leaves and full-grown rushes rustled in the autumn.