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To the Tune of "A Riverside Town" 1

Su, Dong-Po (1036-1101 CE)

Prologue. On the night of January 26 in 1075, I wrote down my dream.


It has been ten years since you passed away 2.
We have not communicated for a long time.
Without consciously thinking of you,
You always remain at the forefront of my thoughts.
Your lonesome tomb is a thousand miles away.
I have no place to release my misery.
Even if we were to meet,
We might not recognize each other.
My face has been weathered greatly by wind and dust.
The hair on my temples has turned white like frost.

Last night my yearning turned into a dream;
I suddenly returned to my hometown.
Sitting beside the window,
You were brushing your hair and then applying makeup.
When we met, we were speechless.
But a thousand lines of tears etched our cheeks.
On the anniversary of your death each year,
My heart breaks
When I dream of returning to the hill with small pine trees 3
In the bright moonlight.


1 The following video entitled "A Riverside Town" shows how the above poem is sung:

2 This poem was written in 1075 to honor Lady Fu Wang, Su’s late wife, who had died in May, 1065.

3 The hill refers to the graveyard that holds the tomb of Lady Wang. Her tomb is located in present day Ke-long Village, Town of An-zheng, Peng-shan County, Sichuan Province