Li, Yu [ 李煜 ]   (937 A.D.-978 A.D.)

    The Cherries all fall after the spring has gone. Butterflies fly in pairs, dusting light powder from their wings. To the west of the attic, cuckoos 1 sing to the moon. Silk curtains are hanging on jade hooks. My melancholy is like lingering mist in the twilight.

    After the crowds drift away, the alley becomes lonesome. When I gaze at the lingering mist, the grass in the distance looks hazy. The smoke rising from the incense burner curls in the shape of a phoenix. My heart is filled with sorrow when I look back, carrying a silk ribbon in vain.

1 In Chinese mythology, during the Warring States Period, King Wang of the State of Shu lost his kingdom; after he died, he became a cuckoo expressing his hope and sorrow through his song.