Poem Composed on Horseback and Sent to Tzu-you after Parting at the West Gate of Chengchou on the Nineteenth Day of the Eleventh Month by Su Tung-p’o

Why do I feel drunk without drinking
my heart is following your saddle horse
your thoughts are already with our father
but how shall I deal with this loneliness of mine
climbing above the ramparts between us
all I see is your bobbing black hat
the weather is so cold and your robe so thin
and you’re riding that nag beneath a waning moon
“On the road people sing at home they’re happy”
offered my attendant seeing me so sad
of course I know life is full of partings
what bothers me is how fast it’s passing
remember when we faced that sputtering lamp
listening to the wind that rain-filled night
that is something I know you won’t forget
don’t fall in love with a government career

translated by Red Pine