The Mid-Autumn Moon, Sent to Ziyou
Su Shi 1036-1101
In six years the moon I see tonight
Has shone five times on our separation.
Whenever I sing your parting song,
Everyone in the room begins to weep.
The auxiliary capital is truly magnificent--
The holiday won't be wasted there!
Molten silver, the hundred acre lake.
A round mirror hung from soaring palace towers.
At midnight when the singing and flutes cease,
Revelers' shadows crisscross beneath the trees.
As you return to your home before North Hall,
Cold moonbeams reflect off dew-soaked leaves.
You call for wine to drink with your wife,
Telling the children stories of me.
How could you know? Aged and sickly,
I face pear tree and chestnut with empty cup.
All I see, east of the old canal,
Are buck wheat flowers fallen like snow.
I wanted to match your song of last year
But was afraid my heart would break.
Zhōngqiū Yuè Jì Zǐyóu
Sū Shì 1036-1101
Liù nián féng cǐ yuè,
Wǔ nián zhào líbié.
Gē jūn bié shí qǔ,
Mǎn zuò wèi qī yè.
Liú dū xìn fán lì,
Cǐ huì qǐ qīng zhì.
Róng yín bǎi qǐn hú,
Guà jìng qiān xún què.
Sān gēng gē chuī bà,
Rén yǐng luàn qīng yuè.
Guī lái běi táng xià,
Hán guāng fān lù yè.
Huàn jiǔ yú fù yǐn,
Niàn wǒ xiàng ér shuō.
Qǐ zhī shuāi bìng hòu,
Kōng zhǎn duì lí lì.
Dàn jiàn gǔ hé dōng,
Qiáomài huā pū xuě,
Yù hè qùnián qǔ,
Fù kǒng xīn duànjué.
From Ron Egan's definitive book on Su Shi (Su Dongpo), Word Image and Deed In The Life Of Su Shi, Harvard University Press. Used with permission. Professor Egan teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara, California.