A Yard Filled with Fragrance 1
Qin, Guan (1049-1100 CE)
The Mountain was painted with a thin layer of clouds. The sky stuck to an
expanse of withered grass. The sound of military bugles died in the watchtower
on the city wall. I resolved to delay my long sailing journey for the moment so
that we could drink together before we parted. In vain, I recalled many past
events that occurred in Peng-lai Pavilion 2. Only heavy mist and
clouds remained there now. At sunset there were a few winter crows in the
distance. Running water surrounded a lonely village.
When I saw her secretly remove her sachet 3 and quietly untie her
sash, I was overwhelmed with joy. I became a notoriously apathetic man in a
green tower 4. I wondered when we would meet again after I departed.
Tears stained our sleeves in vain. Broken-hearted, I stood on the tall city and
looked into distance. I was oblivious to the blooming lights and the setting
1 This melody title refers either to the flowers in a garden or to wine and
music in a garden.
2 While Pi Cheng was the Mayor of Kuai-ji City, Guan Qin visited Cheng and
lived in the guest house, Peng-lai Pavilion. One day Qin attended the mayor's
banquet and fell in love with a courtesan who waited on him. Guan Qin could not
3 In ancient China, sachets were fastened behind a woman's elbows. Qin Fan's
poem says, "Why does she make a shaking sound when she moves? It is because
sachets were fastened behind her elbows."
4 "A green tower" means a brothel or a geisha house.