Tune: “Song of Wafting Fragrance”
The crickets sing among the grass;
The planes surprised shed leaf on leaf.
Heaven as earth, alas!
Is thick with parting grief.
How hard it is to pass
The barriers paved by cloud and moonlight!
Although there come fairy rafts fleet
And go fairy rafts light,
How could the love-stars meet?
Across the bridge of stars made by magpies,
They would meet once a year in the skies.
Could tears of joy reveal
The love and grief they feel?
The Cowherd and Weaving Maid divine,
Though reunited, seem parted again,
Or why is it now fine,
Now blows the wind, now falls the rain?
Offerings of Incense
Cricket chirrups in grasses,
Defoliate the plane trees in a fright,
Whence heaven and earth are doleful.
The cloud steps and the moon ground,
Are cut off by perilous webs around.
Floating raft passes,
Up and down in sight,
Yet our reunion is impossible.
Across the magpie bridge through the Milky Way,
It takes one year,
In our bitterness of parting.
The Cowherd and the Girl Weaver,
Are dating an unforeseen failure,
Which swings from a fine day,
To a rainy queer,
Or a gale roaring.
Incense Burning·Seventh Seven
Crickets chirp in the grass;
Parasol leaves drop, alas.
In this human world,
To the sky gloom is hurled.
The cloud steps, the moon ground,
And the passes are locked sound.
Now canoes come,
And then they go,
Can we meet? O no.
Magpies make a bridge dear,
So they meet once a year.
Then they are kept apart;
Grief overbrims their heart.
O Cowherd, Weaver Maid,
You’re lonely, I’m afraid.
Now it’s clear in the sky,
Now a rain comes nigh,
Now a wind blows by.
Going to Burn Incenses for Buddha
In grass, crickets chirp to make Indus lofty leaves fall low,
It’s time that the human world or the paradise in sorrow.
From cloudy steps to the moon’s surface,
There are thousands of passes with locks.
Although rafts were floating back and forth,
Still there was no reunion-meeting way or path.
Magpies would set up a starry bridge in a year,
How long for both of them to meet together?
The Cowboy and the Weaving Girl were bitterly separated from each other.
Sometimes it’s a very fine day,
And then it may be rainy or windy.
Xingxiangzi, qixi, No.2: Fragrance in motion, seven dusks
Evening crickets chirp in the grass
while leaves drop from the parasol tree,
startling. This season of sorrow
intensifies on earth as in heaven.
Clouds are stairways, moonlight is earth,
yet our way is sealed by a thousand locks.
If floating rafts were to journey
between sea and sky, still
never would the two meet.
A star-laden bridge made by magpies
for one annual tryst recalls in heaven
the trials of our separation, endless regrets:
A cattle hand and weaver maiden, in love,
face to face once a year on the celestial bridge.
Perhaps this is why, with our partings,
our emotions clear for only an instant,
followed by sudden rain,
（Karen An-Hwei Lee 译）