where I gaze
the rain is ending and the clouds break up
as I lean at the rail in anxious silence
seeing off the last of autumn’s glow
the evening scene is lonely
enough to chill Sung Yü to sadness
though touch of wind and rain is light
the duckweed gradually grows older
in moon’s frost cold
the wu-t’ung leaves whirl yellow
giving love is taking pain
where are you now?
the misty waters vast, and vague.
it’s hard to forget
writing or drinking
how many nights alone beneath a clouded moon
again the changes, stars and frost
the seas are broad, the heavens far
and no way home.
the swallows pair
and I depend on letters
I point into the evening sky
to sight in vain the returning boat
at dusk we’ll gaze toward one another
in the sound of the swan’s cry
standing till the slanting sun is set.
translated by Jerome P. Seaton