The Narcissus by the Pool 1

Ou-yang, Xiu (1007 A.D.-1072 A.D.)

    It rains on the pool as the light thunder rumbles beyond the willow trees. The raindrops patter upon the lotus petals. A rainbow on the west corner of the little tower grows brightly. She leans against a banister in solitude, waiting for the moon to rise. A swallow flies over to peek at the picturesque pillars. She pulls a jade hook to draw down the curtain. As she lies on a smooth, colored bed-matt, the cool air waves do not move. Beside a pair of crystal-colored pillows, a dropped hairpin lies horizontally.

1 General Wei-yan Qian held a party in his backyard. One courtesan and Xiu Ou-yang arrived late. The general asked the courtesan why she was late. She replied, "I took a nap in the cool room. When I awoke, I found I had lost my hairpin." The general said, "I will return it to you after I ask Ou-yang for a poem." Consequently, Xiu Ou-yang improvised as he wrote this poem.