Shui Diao Ge Tou
To the Tune of Prelude to Water Melody
On the Mid-Autumn Festival of the year Bingchen I drank happily till dawn and wrote this in my cups while thinking of Ziyou.
Bright moon, when was your birth?
Wine cup in hand, I ask the deep blue sky;
Not knowing what year it is tonight
In those celestial palaces on high.
I long to fly back on the wind,
Yet dread those crystal towers, those courts of jade,
Freezing to death among those icy heights!
Instead I rise to dance with my pale shadow;
Better off, after all, in the world of men.
Rounding the red pavilion,
Stooping to look through gauze windows,
She shines on the sleepless.
The moon should know no sadness;
Why, then, is she always full when dear ones are parted?
For men, the grief of parting, joy of reunion,
Just as the moon wanes and waxes, is bright or dim;
Always some flaw ?and so it has been since of old.
My one wish for you, then, is long life
And a share in this loveliness far, far away!