Women Poets of China

By Kenneth Rexroth; Ling Chung | Go to book overview

To the tune "Eternal Happiness"

The setting sun is molten gold.
The evening clouds form a jade disc.
Where is he?
The willows are soft in the thick mist.
A sad flute plays "Falling Plum Blossoms."
How many Springs have I known?
This Feast of Lights should be joyful.
The weather is calm and lovely.
But who can tell if it
Will be followed by wind and rain?
A friend sends her perfumed carriage
And high bred horses to fetch me.
I thank my old poetry and wine companion.
I remember the happy days in the lost capital.
We took our ease in the women's quarters.
The Feast of Lights was elaborately celebrated --
Golden jewelry, brocaded girdles,
New sashes, we competed
To see who was most smartly dressed.
Now I am withering away,
Wind blown hair, frosty temples.
I am embarressed to go out this evening.
I prefer to stay beyond the curtains,
And listen to talk and laughter
I can no longer share.

LI CH'ING-CHAO

-42-

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