(To the Tune of Niannujiao)
Wild pear blossoms start falling again,
so soon, the Qingming festival over.
The cruel eastern wind, for no reason,
Interrupts a traveler’s dream.
I awake, the brocade curtain
Devastatingly cold. Once,
she held the drink to me
on the winding river bank,
and we bade farewell to each other
under a weeping willow tree
with my horse tethered to it.
Now, the pavilion deserted,
there is no trace of her,
only the swallows twittering about bygones.
She’s been seen, people say,
east of the bustling thoroughfare,
behind the curtain, still as graceful
as the new moon. Old regrets
run like the endless spring water.
New griefs pile up
like the clouds over the mountains.
If we were going to meet again,
at a banquet, to tell her all this
would be as impossible
as to pluck the flower from a mirror.
She would say, perhaps,
How white your hair has grown!