Spring, spring, has come, while yet the landscape bears
Its fleecy burden of unmelted snow!
Now may the zephyr gently ‘gin to blow,
To melt the nightingale’s sweet frozen tears.
When the great men of old pass’d by this way,
Could e’en their pleasures vie with ours to-day?
For ever on Mikane’s crest,
That soars so far away,
The rain it rains in ceaseless sheets,
The snow it snows all day.
And ceaseless as the rain and snow
That fall from heaven above,
So ceaselessly, since first we met,
I love my darling love.
When Winter turns to Spring,
The dews of morn in pearly radiance lie,
The mists of eve rise circling to the sky,
And Kaminabi’s thickets ring
With the sweet notes the nightingale doth sing.
From the loud wave-wash’d shore
Wend I my way,
Hast’ning o’er many a flow’r,
At close of day, –
On past Kusaka’s crest,
Onward to thee,
Sweet as the loveliest
Flower of the lea!
Here on one side of the stream I stand,
And gaze on my love on the other strand.
Oh ! not to be with her, what sadness!
Oh ! not to be with her, what madness!
If but a red-lacquered skiff were mine,
With paddles strewn over with pearls so fine,
Then would I pass the river,
And dwell with my love for ever!
Shame and despair are mine from day to day;
But, being no bird, I cannot fly away.
Under the seal of tawny dust,
On a sheet of stone
Mottled and deadly green,
Was carved an image in an ancient costume:
I gazed upon her profile
And coldly gleamed,
Beneath her grave expression,
The trace of a silent smile.
An image on green stone you are,
Yet the bashful herb in the field resembles you.
When clouds are thin, and the wind is light,
about the noontide hour,
I cross the stream, through willow paths
with all around in flower.
The world knows not my inmost thoughts
which make me seem a fool;
I’m taken for a truant boy
escaped from tedious school.
Chêng Hao A.D. 1032-1085
Across the screen the autumn moon
stares coldly from the sky;
With silken fan I sit and flick
the fireflies sailing by.
The night grows colder every hour, –
it chills me to the heart
To watch the Spinning Maiden
from the Herdboy far apart.
Tu Mu A.D. 803-852