I am only an old woodsman, whispering a sob,
As I steal like a spring-shadow down the Winding River.
…Since the palaces ashore are sealed by a thousand gates —
Fine willows, new rushes, for whom are you so green?
…I remember a cloud of flags that came from the South Garden,
And ten thousand colours, heightening one another,
And the Kingdom’s first Lady, from the Palace of the Bright Sun,
Attendant on the Emperor in his royal chariot,
And the horsemen before them, each with bow and arrows,
And the snowy horses, champing at bits of yellow gold,
And an archer, breast skyward, shooting through the clouds
And felling with one dart a pair of flying birds.
…Where are those perfect eyes, where are those pearly teeth?
A blood-stained spirit has no home, has nowhere to return.
And clear Wei waters running east, through the cleft on Dagger- Tower Trail,
Carry neither there nor here any news of her.
People, compassionate, are wishing with tears
That she were as eternal as the river and the flowers.
…Mounted Tartars, in the yellow twilight, cloud the town with dust.
I am fleeing south, but I linger-gazing northward toward the throne.