For Ku Yen-hsien, A Poem for Him to Give to His Wife by Lu Yün

I on the sunny side of Three Rivers,
you in the gloom south of Five Lakes,
mountains and seas vast between us,
farther apart than bird and fish–
my eyes envision your lovely form,
my ears still ring with your soft sweet voice.
I lie down alone, full of far-off thoughts;
waking, I stroke the collar of my empty robe.
Beautiful one, sharer of my longing,
who but you will ever hold my heart?

translated by Burton Watson

from Songs from the Heart by Juan Chi: No. 1

Late at night unable to sleep
I sit up and played my zither
moonlight shone through the curtains
a cool breeze ruffled my robe
in the distant wilds a lone goose cried
above the north woods a circling bird called
this way then that searching for something
while anxious thoughts troubled my heart

translated by Red Pine

untitled Chinese poem 3 by anonymous

In the courtyard is a marvelous tree
its green leaves spreading a profusion of flowers
I bend a branch and gather blossoms
to send to the one I love

sweet smells fill my lapels and sleeves
but the road is long and nothing can reach you
these things have no value as precious gifts
they only remind me how long you’ve been away

translated by Charles Hartman