I did not dream on the icy mat 2 on the silver bed
The navy sky looked like a sea
And the night clouds were light.
The sound of wild geese traveled beyond the Xiao and Xiang Rivers.
The moon still shone brightly in the Twelve Jade Towers 4.
The chapter "Etiquette" in The Book of Poetry says, "The harmony
between a husband and a wife is like the music of a harp." Here the title "The
Lament of a Jade-decorated Harp" refers to discord between a lady of rank and
her husband. In this poem, Wen compares himself to such a lady who laments that
her husband was far away.
The icy mat refers to a fine colored bamboo mat used to cool the bed during
One interpretation is that the bed is made of silver. Another is that the
bed shines in the moonlight.
4 The Biography of Gods says, "There are twelve jade towers in the
Park of Heavenly Wind on Kunlun Mountain where gods live. There are nine
balconies in each tower. The Pool of Fairyland is on the left and the Green
River is on the right. There are nine moats surrounding the towers. People
cannot enter this paradise." Here the phrase "twelve jade towers" refers to the
tower in which the lady lives. The moon refers to the lights in her room.