On a sudden, the wind rise –
Against a clear and calm sky.
Ruffling the water’s surface –
Of a lily pond, hard by.
She follows the fragrant path –
Leisurely, towards the place,
Where mandarin ducks in pairs,
Ever spend their happy days.
She picks whatever plum flowers,
On which her eyes chance to fall.
Her idle hands, unawares.
Crumple up stamens and all.
She watches the pugnacious drakes,
With a weariness of air,
Meanwhile, her emerald hair-guard –
Hang loose and low on her hair.
All day long, she expects him.
But, somehow, he is not back.
She raises her head upward,
Hearing the magpie’s chick-chack.
Tune: “Homage at the Golden Gate”
The breeze begins to blow,
Ruffling a pool of spring water below.
Crushing pink apricot petals in hand, I play
With a pair of lovebirds on the fragrant pathway.
Watching duck fight, alone on all railings I lean
Till slants upon my head my hairpin of jade green.
Waiting for you the whole day long wears out my eyes;
Raising my head, I’m glad to hear magpies.1
- Magpies were supposed to announce the expected arrival.