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LISTENING TO THE RAIN

Tune: The Beautiful Lady Yu
by Jiang Jie (1245 - 1301, Song Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang

In my youth,
I listened to the rain from inside the brothel;
In the dim light of the red candle, the bed curtain.

In my prime, I listened to the rain from a passenger boat;
The river was wide and clouds low,
Stray wild geese howling, in the west wind.

Now,
I listen to the rain from inside the monastery;
My temple hairs, already covered in white!

Always cruel are life’s moments of sadness, joy, separation, and union;
So just allow the drops of rain to tap on the steps, until dawn breaks.

── from Zhushan Ci (Lyrics of Zhushan)

RELUCTANT TO PART
Tune: Tang Ditty
by Wu Wenying (1200 - 1260, Song Dynasty)
English translation: John Balcom

Where has the character for worries come from?
Those departing have the mind of autumn.

Though it does not rain,one hears the wind through the plantains.
They all say that the nights are cool, and the weather is fine.

The moon is bright, But I fear ascending the tower.

In my dreams, the years and happenings stop,
There are no flowers, the misty river flows.

The swallows bid adieu,
But the guest remains.

The weeping willows have not encircled and held him fast,
Still, long, long,
Has the boat remained docked.

── from Hua’an Cixuan Xuji (Sequel of Selected Verses from the Flower Hut)