The Moonlit Night

Du, Fu (712 A.D.-770 A.D.)

Tonight you can only watch the moon of Fu City 1 alone in your boudoir.
I pity my little children, so far away
Because I know they cannot understand why their mother yearns for Chang-An 2.
Fragrant wafts gently from your damp hair bun.
The fresh moonshine chills your fair arms.
When will we again be able to lean against the bed curtain?
Only then will our tears dry in the moonlight.

1 Today the old location of Fu City is within Fu County in Shaanxi Province.

2 Du was originally a low-ranking official in the emperor's court. In 755 A.D., General An fomented a rebellion. Emperor Ming escaped from the capital. Soon after, Ming's son, Prince Su, declared emperorship at Ling-Wu. In June 756 A.D., rebel troops attacked and occupied Tong-Guan City. Du fled with his wife and children to Fu City. In August, Du determined to go by himself to Ling-Wu to serve Emperor Su. On his way there the rebel troops caught him and sent him back to the old capital, Chang-An. This was why he wrote this poem dedicated to his wife. After seven years, the rebellion was finally put down.