He, Zhu (1052 A.D.-1125 A.D.)

    With light makeup, you appeared in all your beauty, radiant and enchanting. You frequently turned around and gazed at me. It reminded me of the story in which Xiang-ru Si-ma 1 seduced Wen-jun Zhuo and Zhuo desired to tie herself to Si-ma with the ribbons of conjugal happiness. I remember we met in the luxurious hall and fell in love. How charming your light smile and slightly furrowed brow were! Facing the sleeping-duck-shaped incense burner and behind the screen painted with flying mandarin-ducks, you bashfully untied your fragrant belt in secret.

    Since the Lantern Festival passed, I have not seen you walk in the countryside or gather vegetables 2. Many times I want to ask a pair of swallows to send my deep regards. The manifold curtains are hateful for they impede me from visiting you. When will we meet again? Spring is in its prime. I feel tired from drinking wine and bored by endless daytime. Awakened in fatigue, I find the sun still hangs above blooming trees.

1 Xiang-ru Si-ma (200 B.C.-118 B.C.), a native of Cheng-du City, was a great writer and poet during the Han dynasty.

2 Walking in the Countryside and Gathering Vegetables (the second day of the second month in Chinese lunar calendar) were two ancient Chinese festivals that came after the Lantern Festival (the fifteen day of the first month).