Thoughts as I Lie Alone by Wang An-shih

Alone, a noon dove calling in spring
shade, I lie in a valley of forest quiet.

Scraps of cloud pass, scattering rain,
and I listen, late in life, to its clatter.

Eyes full of red and green confusion,
our sad times unraveling my legacy,

there’s no word near these thoughts
still as Bell Mountain in its slumber.

translated by David Hinton

To the Melody A Blooming Plum by Li Qingzhao

The Fragrant red lotuses have Withered away,
My jade-like mat turns cool on autumn day
Lightly putting off my skirt or silky coat,
Alone I boarded the pretty boat
Looking back, the wild geese fly
Who’s to send me a letter through clouds sky?
My west chamber window’s full of moonlight
Flowers drift alone out of the smell
The creek running alone is natural
There’s one kind of love sickness
Coming from two places with sadness
No way could cure such a sickness
Just falling down from my eyebrows
Into my heart with sorrows

translated by Zhu Manhua
with thanks to Qiaoen for passing it my way

Song by Ch’in Kuan

Pleading eyebrows, intoxicating eyes!
When I first looked at you, I knew my heart was lost.

Do you remember that time in the west–
your billowing, cloudlike hair,

your best silk stockings, your lilac tongue?
You said to me, “When was I treated so well?”

But before the clouds and rain,
east winds blew everything away.

I’m grieving still,
but heaven doesn’t hear.

translated by Sam Hamill

Farewell Song by Ch’in Kuan

Faint clouds caress the mountains
where blue sky enters dry grass.

From the watchtower, a lone horn sounds.
Suddenly, I want to stop my little boat

and share a farewell cup of wine.
Our time together was a glimpse of paradise.

But it is futile to remember—
only the mist remains.

translated by Sam Hamill