Farewell by Yü Hsüan-chi

All those tender nights upstairs in the capital, hearts content
together—I never guessed my pure-spirit love would leave.

Now, dozing and waking, I don’t mention drifting clouds gone
who knows where. The lamp burns low. A wild moth flutters.

translated by David Hinton

Staying in the Mountains in Summer by Yü Hsüan-chi

I’ve moved here to the Immortal’s place:
Flowers everywhere we didn’t plant before.

The courtyard trees are bent like clothes-horses.
At the feast, winecups float in a new spring.

Dark balcony. Path through deep bamboo.
Long summer dress. Confusion of books.

I sing in the moonlight and ride a painted boat,
Trusting the wind to blow me home again.

translated by Geoffrey Waters

To Tzu-an by Yü Hsüan-chi

A thousand goblets at the farewell feast
can’t dilute my sorrow,
my heart at separation is twisted
in a hundred unyielding knots.
Tender orchids wilt and wither,
return to the garden of spring;
willow trees, here and there,
moor travelers’ boats.
In meeting and parting I lament
the unsettled clouds;
love and affection should learn from the river
in flowing on and on.
I know we won’t meet again
in the season of blossoms,
and I won’t sit by quietly
drunk in my chamber.

translated by Jan W. Walls