Tune: “Slow Tune of Yanghzou”
In the famous town east of River Huai
And scenic spot of Bamboo West,
Breaking my journey, I alight for a short rest.
In breeze the splendid three-mile road did I pass by.
‘Tis now o’ergrown with wild green wheat and weeds,
Since Southern shore was overrun by Jurchen steeds,
E’en the tall trees beside the pond have been war-torn.
As dusk is drawing near,
Cold blows the horn,
The empty town looks drear.
The place Du Mu the poet prized,
If the could come again today,
Would make him feel surprised.
His verse on the cardamom spray
And on sweet dreams in Mansions Green
Could not express
My deep distress.
The Twenty-four Bridges can still be seen,
But the cold moon floating among
The waves would no more sing a song.
For whom should the peonies near
The Bridges grow red from year to year?