Xi QiJi Poetry 

Chou Nu Er
In days when I was young and didn't know the taste of sorrow
    I like to climb the storied tower,
    I like to climb the storied tower;
To write the latest odes I forced myself to tell of sorrow.

Now that I understand the taste of sorrow altogether
    I would like to tell, but stop,
    I would like to tell, but stop;
Instead I say, 'What a cool day! Such lovely autumn weather!'

Tr. A. Ayling & D. Mackintosh

When young, I knew not the taste of sorrow,
But loved to mount the high towers;
I loved to mount the hight towers
To compose a new song,urging myself to talk about sorrow.

Now that I have known all the taste of sorrow,
I would like to talk about it, but refrain;
I would like to talk about it, but refrain,
And say merely: "It is chilly; what a fine autumn!"

Tr. Lu Wu-chi

Chinese text
Zhu Yin Ta
Precious hairpin, broken, halved
At the Peach-Leaf Ferry where
We parted; darkening mist and willow shround the place.
I dread to climb the tower-top stair;
Nine days out of ten wind raves, rain torrents race:
It breaks my heart to see the scarlet petals scatter one by one.
All this with nobody to care
Above it - who is there
Will bid the oriole's singing cease?

From mirrored flowers that frame my face
I pluck the petals, try to foretell your return,
Counting and re-counting them a thousand ways.
By silken curtains dimly lit
Words born of dreams fight in my throat for release.
It was he, the Spring, who brought on me this agony of grief;
Who knows where Spring now strays?
He did not guess he should have gone
Taking my grief in his embrace.

Tr. A. Ayling & D. Mackintosh
Chinese text

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