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SELECTIONS BY OUYANG XIU

by Ouyang Xiu (1007 - 1072, Song Dynasty)
English translation: Miao Guang and Zhi Yue

SPRING ON THE JADE PAVILION

Wanting to promise a time of return at the banquet table;
Words choke in tears, drowned by a sad pretty face.
Infatuation with love is a natural part of life;
Regret was never provoked by the wind or moon.
We need not another song before parting;
A single melody suffices to break our hearts.
We must finish looking at the flowers of Luoyang,
Before bidding airy goodbyes to the spring breeze.


LANTERN FESTIVAL EVE
Tune: Sheng Zha Zi

Last year on Lantern Festival eve,
The market streets glimmered like daylight,
As the moon hung on the tips of willow trees,
We rendezvoused in the twilight.
Though on this year’s Lantern Festival eve,
The moon and lanterns still look alike;
Yet last year’s person is out of sight,
Tears dousing the sleeves of my spring gown, I weep.


SAND SIFTING WAVES

Wineglass raised to the eastern breeze,
So let us enjoy this time with ease.
East of Luoyang, weeping willows
decorate the lavender path
which we once walked hand-in-hand.
Roaming across the pretty flower bend,
Painful it is to join and part in haste,
Such heartbreaks will never end.
Flowers of this year bloom brighter red,
Pity that next year’s are yet to be the best,
But who will enjoy those with me by then?

── from Quan Song Ci (Complete Collection of Song Poems)