I Will Remember How Happy I Was When We Were Together
Liu, Chen-weng (1232-1297)
Prologue. In 1275 A.D. 1, when I read Qing-zhou Li's poem,
"I Will Remember How Happy I was When We Were Together" 2, I wept. It has
been three years. Whenever I hear this poem of hers, I still cannot bear such a
sad tune. Therefore, I follow her rhythm and use her metaphor to write this
poem. Even though my writing is not as elegant as hers, my loss is worse.
The rain has just stopped and the moon shines like jade. The dark clouds
drift far away and become lighter. Who will be in charge of Spring? The delicate
chill of the palace garden has not yet faded, the warmth of the lake dike makes
people drowsy 3. Recent events have changed things so fast. Even
though fragrant dust obscure the roads and splendid lamps are bright like day
4, I am not in the mood to enjoy going out with my friends
The beautiful scenery is the same as that in the old days during the Xuan-he
Period 6 or that when Emperor Gao crossed the Yangtze River and
established Lin-an as the capital 7. With weathered hair bun and
surrounded by numerous light yellow book jackets 8, I feel it is
painful to write poems during this Lantern Festival 9. There is no
trace of Spring on roads south of the Yangtze River 10. When I recall
Fu Du's longing to return home to Fu-zhou City 11, who can understand
my sorrow? I cannot fall asleep and face the drying lamp in vain. The village is
filled with the sound of drums from the parade.
1 This year was one year before Kublai Khan destroyed the Southern Song
2 Qing-zhao Li wrote "I Will Remember How Happy I was When We Were Together"
to to show how she missed her late husband.
3 This sentence implies that the Southern Song dynasty was destroyed not long
ago, but most people seemed to have forgotten it already.
4 Chinese people celebrated the Lantern Festival on the evening of the
fifteenth day of the first month in the Chinese lunar calendar. Fragrant smell
was everywhere. There was so many carriages coming and going that dust obscured
5 Liu grieved over the perished Southern Song dynasty.
6 "The old days during the Xuan-he Period" refers to the peaceful days during
Emperor Hui's reign.
7 The troops of Kingdom of Jin successively captured Emperors Hui and Qing of
the Northern Song dynasty. Emperor Gao fled south, crossed the Yangtze River,
and established Lin-an (present day Hang-zhou City) as the capital of the
Southern Song dynasty.
8 "Light yellow book jackets" refers to the author's books.
9 After Kublai Khan ruled China, free speech was denied to the Chinese.
10 This sentence implies that there was no hope of restoring the Southern
11 In June of 756 A.D., the rebel troops attacked Tong-guan City. Fu Du fled
to Fu-zhou City with his wife and children. In August, Fu Du wanted to go to
Ling-wu City by himself to work for Emperor Su. On his way there, he was
captured by rebels and brought back to Chang-an City. During his captivity, he
wrote a poem, "The Moonlit Night" and sent it to his wife. It says, "Tonight you
can only watch the moon of Fu-zhou City alone in your boudoir."