Following the Rhyming Pattern of the Western Lake
1 by Mr. Ou-yang
Su, Dong-Po (1036 A.D.-1101 A.D.)
Since the frost came, the Huai River has lost its breadth 2. The
murmuring of the clear, slow moving Ying River 3 sounds like sobbing.
The girls nearby still sing the song 4 written by Zui-weng
Forty-three years have passed quickly like lightning 6. The autumn
dew on the grass is as slippery as pearls. The moon, full on the fifteenth,
begins to wane on the sixteenth. Only the moon at the bottom of the Western Lake
and I know Zui-weng best.
The Western Lake
Ou-yang, Xiu (1007 A.D.-1072 A.D.)
The misty waves in the north and south of the Western Lake are broad. The
rustling reeds in the wind sound like sobbing. After dancing, a pair of green
skirt-sashes are hanging down. The effect of wine turns her fragrant cheeks red.
The cup is deep. I do not feel the glazed porcelain slip. I love to watch the
green waist of the eighteen-year-old dancing girl. Tomorrow morning our
carriages will go separate ways. The picturesque bridge will be disappointed and
will lament in the wind beneath the moon.
As time goes by, the Huai River loses its strength, while Ou-yang's work
The Ying River is a branch of the Huai River.
The song refers to the prose-poem, The Western Lake.
Zui-weng refers to Xiu Ou-yang. While Ou-yang was in exile at Chu City, he
called himself zui-weng (drunkard). Ou-yang was Su's examiner when Su attended
the Advanced Exam. He originally ranked Su first. Later, he thought Su was too
young, so he moved Su to third place. One's examiner was usually regarded as
one's teacher. Su wrote this poem to honor his teacher, Xiu Ou-yang.
"Forty-three years have passed" refers to either the year in which the song
was written or the last time Su met Ou-yang.