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 5. 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.

2 As time goes by, the Huai River loses its strength, while Ou-yang's work endures.

3 The Ying River is a branch of the Huai River.

4 The song refers to the prose-poem, The Western Lake.

5 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.

6 "Forty-three years have passed" refers to either the year in which the song was written or the last time Su met Ou-yang.