Tune: Yü mei-jen Title: The (New) Moon on the Night of the Third of the Month by Chiang Ch’un-lin

An icy scar in the afterglow sends off the setting sun;
A hook so tiny as to startle fishes from their dreams,
Passionate souls would still say it’s perfect and round;
Just the barest hint of a woman’s brow
And suddenly it’s the Goddess of the Moon!

Enveloping the steps, the night air as thin as mist;
Flowers’ shadows lightly traced on the curtain.
I lean against the railing, no need to sleep late.
Just gazing up into the yellow dusk–
One glimpse of her overwhelms me with longing.

translated by Irving Lo

from Tune: Yang-chou man (A Slow Song of Yangchow) Title: On 19 December 1853, the (Taiping) Rebels Are Approaching the Capital. Upon Hearing of the Recovery of Yangchow by Government Troops by Chiang Ch’un-lin

But what avails the common folk?
Under a dark moon, fireflies are drifting aimlessly;
The west wind sobs
Amidst ghost fires here and there.
But it hurts even more as I look toward the south:
Across the river, innumerable green-peaked hills!

translated by Irving Lo