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ROLLING, ROLLING THE YANGTZE FLOWS EAST
Tune: Riverbank Fairy
by Yang Shen (1488 - 1559, Ming Dynasty)
English translation: John Balcom

Rolling, rolling the Yangtze flows east,
The waves washing away heroes.

Right and wrong, success and failure, all empty.
The green mountains remain, How many red sunsets?

White haired fisherman by the riverside,
Watching the autumn moon and the spring breeze;
A pot of unstrained wine welcomes me again.

How many events, from antiquity until now,
All are matter for our laughter and talk?

── from Ershiyi Shi Tanci (The Twenty-one Histories in Ballad Form)


GRIEVE FOR THE FALLING LEAVES
Tune: Dreaming of the South
by Qu Dajun (1630 - 1696, Ming Dynasty)
English translation: John Balcom

Grieve for the falling leaves;
The leaves fall, fall to make spring.

Every year, the leaves fly away and still there are leaves.
Every year people depart, leaving fewer people;
Upon the rouge there are fresh tears.

Grieve for the falling leaves;
The leaves fall, never to return.

Though they return, flowers cover the trees,
The new branches are not the ones in the past;
Slowly the water flows away.

── from Zhonghua Shici (Chinese Classical Poetry)