by Li Qingzhao (1084‐1155)
I pine and peak And questless seek Groping and moping to linger and languish Anon to wander and wonder, glare, stare and start Flesh chill'd Ghost thrilled With grim dart And keen canker of rankling anguish. Sudden a gleam Of fair weather felt But fled as fast - and the ice-cold season stays. How hard to have these days In rest or respite, peace or truce. Sip upon sip of tasteless wine Is of slight use To counter or quell The fierce lash of the evening blast. The wild geese - see - Fly overhead Ah, there's the grief That's chief - grief beyond bearing, Wild fowl far faring In days of old you sped Bearing my true love's tender thoughts to me. Lo, how my lawn is rife with golden blooms Of bunched chrysanthemums - Weary their heads they bow. Who cares to pluck them now? While I the casement keep Lone, waiting, waiting for night And, as the shades fall Upon broad leaves, sparse rain-drops drip. Ah, such a plight Of grief - grief unbearable, unthinkable.