Tune: “Treading on Grass” by Ou-yang Hsiu

At the post house lodge, plum flowers scattering,
by the valley bridge, willows coming out,
fragrant grass, warm wind that sways the traveler’s reins:
parting grief–the farther apart, the more endless it grows,
long and unbroken like a river in spring.

Inch on inch of gentle heart,
brimming, brimming, her rouge-stained tears:
the tower so tall–don’t go near, don’t lean on the high railing!
At the very end of the level plain–spring hills are there,
but the traveler’s even farther, beyond spring hills.

translated by Burton Watson

Following the Rhymes of Chiang Hui-shu by Su Tung-p’o: written on a voyage home from exile shortly before he died.

Bell and drum on the south river bank–
home! I wake startled from a dream.
Drifting clouds–so the world shifts;
lone moon–such is the light of my mind.
Rain drenches down as from a tilted basin;
poems flow out like water spilled.
The two rivers vie to send me off;
beyond treetops I see the slant of a bridge.

translated by Burton Watson