On Red Lotus Petals
Wu Xing, also known as the City on Water, is noted for its brilliant and exuberant lotuses. Chen Yuyi’s lines, “To repay your kindness this year / I’ll escort you home with lotuses all the way”, are evidence of this. In the summer of the year Ding Wei (1187), I visited Qianyuan and passed by the lotus ponds several times. So I produced this tune and set its keynote to Wuyigong (B flat).
On cool and inviting bamboo mat and pillow
Browsing and plucking strings, I lead an idle life;
Listless after sleep, I spray icy water
On a melon, and cut it with a sharp knife.
I order wine from a peddler beyond the wall
Then I feel keenly the loneliness –
Who’ll come and comfort a poet in his roaming?
Breaking the silence at dusk
From high within the willows
The chirping of cicadas foretells the west wind’s coming.
Bridges like rainbows fly across dikes
From the waves fragrance gushes forth.
Red petals half cover the pools’ surface,
I moor my boat to gaze at the misty North.
But my home lies out of sight!
What a pity! I can not saunter
With the friend I miss on this islet’s sandy shore.
– When shall we together sing
Of the autumnal splendour reflected on the water?