We joked, long ago, about one of us dying,
But suddenly, before my eyes, you are gone.
Almost all your clothes have been given away;
Your needlework is sealed, I dare not look at it....
I sit here alone, mourning for us both.
How many years do I lack now of my threescore and ten?
There have been better men than I to whom heaven denied a son,
O youngest, best-loved daughter of Xie,
Who unluckily married this penniless scholar,
You patched my clothes from your own wicker basket,
And I coaxed off your hairpins of gold, to buy wine with;
A mountain spring randomly flows over the steps:
a small house among thousands of peach flowers.
Before getting up, I leaf through a Daoist book
and watch her combing her hair under the crystal curtain.
At sunset the Jialing River flows east
and thousands of pear petals chase the river wind.
What twists my stomach as I watch the river flowers?
Half have fallen in the river, half drift on the air.
I dreamt I climbed to a high, high plain;
And on the plain I found a deep well.
My throat was dry with climbing and I longed to drink,
And my eyes were eager to look into the cool shaft.
Thousand of mountains and waters part us. No letters come.
I know you care for me, since you dream of me
but I'm so sick these days my delirious soul
just dreams of random people, won't show me you.
Calm day through the thin curtain, swallows talking fast.
Pairs of fighting sparrows kick up dust on the steps.
Wind at dusk, a brushwood gate swings shut.
Flowers dropp their last petals. No one notices.
In an inn by the Jialing, my traveler's bed feels empty.
The water flows noisily all night.
I gaze at trees on the mountain past the south wall,
and see wild flowers teasing me in soft moonlight.