Doesn't Anyone See?

Shen, Quan-qi (656 A.D.-715 A.D.)

The young Mrs. Lu 1 sits alone in a luxurious room.
A pair of petrels 2 perch on a beam decorated with tortoiseshells.
In September, the pounding sound of pestles 3 hastens the falling of leaves.
The wife misses her husband who has been stationed for ten years on the frontier,
Which is the east side of the Liao River.
The communication with the land north of the White Wolf River 4 has been blocked.
The autumn night south of Red Phoenix City 5 is long.
Doesn't anyone see her worrying about her husband?
To make the matter worse, the bright moon still shines on her bed curtain.

1 The Song of the Water in a River, written by Yan Xiao of the Liang dynasty, says, "The girl in Lo Yang City named Mo-chou (don't worry)/ /Married into the Lu family when she was fifteen." Based on this original poem, later generations used Mrs. Lu to symbolize a young wife.

2 Petrels live close to the beaches in Southern China. They fly north in the spring and build their nests inside houses.

3 In ancient China, people washed coats and quilts in September to prepare for the winter. They put their dirty laundry in a wash bucket and then pounded it with a pestle so that the water could soak into the heavy material evenly.

4 The White Wolf River is the present day Da-ling River in Liaoning Province. It enters the sea at Jin City.

5 Red Phoenix City refers to the capital, Chang-an. It is said that Long-yu, the daughter of King Mu of the State of Qin, played the flute to entice a phoenix to come to the capital. Later generations used Red Phoenix to symbolize the capital city. Furthermore, in the Han dynasty, Emperor Wu built the Phoenix Lookout Tower in Chang-an. In the Tang dynasty, the door of Da-ming Palace was called Red Phoenix Door. All these facts contributed to the custom of calling the capital city the Red Phoenix City.