Lamenting on the Jade Steps 1

Li, Bai   (701 A.D.-762 A.D.)

White dew grows on the jade steps.
All night long, it has invaded her night stockings.
Lowering her crystal curtain again,
The court lady watches the autumn moon through the transparent panels.

1 The court lady (one of 1,000 wives of the emperor) had waited for the emperor all night long. However, the emperor did not come to visit her. Therefore, she looked up at the moon and hoped to gain some news about the emperor from the fact that the moon's light illuminates both of them. The silence of the moon made her angry, so she lowered her curtain. However, the moonlight still penetrated the crystal panels and ignited her hope that the emperor might visit her just as the moonlight did.