Days have already begun
To eat themselves and the nights
x Begun to lengthen,
Making more time for broken
Dreams of panic and regret,
x But I will not fear
The scented ghost of roses
Dying in red darkness as,
Shadows fill with warm breathing,
Our bodies together—strong—
x However briefly.
Tune: “Partridge Sky”
by Li Qingzhao
The parasol-trees must hate
Last night’s hoar frost
As their shadows fall on my patterned window
Where the bleak sun is dismally climbing.
Bitter brick tea will just do for me after wine,
And the borneols smell good
Now my dream is interrupted.
Autumn ends, but the day is still long.
I feel more dreary than
The homesick Zhong Xuan① of bygone days.
Better be content with my cup
As is my wont,
And not miss the chrysanthemums
Blooming by the east hedge.
① The style name of Yang Can (c.177-217) ,one of the seven masters of the Jian An style of & poetry. He wrote a nostalgic prose-poem to vent his homesickness while living in a remote bun after the fall of the Han Dynasty.
Lǐ Qīngzhào zhè gū tiān
hán rì xiāoxiāo shàng suǒ chuāng , wútóng
yīng hèn yèlái shuāng. Jiǔ lán gèng xǐ tuán chá kǔ , mèng duàn piān yí
ruì nǎo xiāng.
Qiū yǐ jìn, rì yóu zhǎng, zhòng xuān huáiyuǎn gèng qīliáng . Bùrú suífēn zūn qián zuì , mò fù dōng lí jú ruǐ huáng.
Cold/sun/miserable/dreary/to go up/lock/window, parasol tree/must/hate/night/arrive/frost. Wine/exhausted/more/enjoy/portion/tea/bitter, dream/broken/prefer/should/incense/fragrance.
Autumn/already/finished, days/still/long, Zhong Xuan/feeling/distant/more/desolate/dreary. Not as good as/casually/wine goblet/before/intoxicated, not/to turn one’s back on/east/fence/chrysanthemum/stamen-pistil/yellow
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