Song of Xizhou (西洲曲)

Reminded of Xizhou by plum blossoms, she snaps a branch off to send to Jiangbei.
Her lightweight clothes were an apricot-red; her hair was black as a crow chick’s feathers.
Where might I find Xizhou proper, today? Row ‘cross the bridgehead in two long oar strokes.
At the sun’s curtain call, the shrikes fly off, and night’s wind blows against the tallow trees.

Right beneath the tree boughs is her door’s fore; past it, her jewelry of jade can be seen.
She opens the door, but no gent is there, so she goes out to pick red lotuses.
They are picked in autumn, on the south bank; their stalks grow to be over peoples’ heads.
She bowed her head to pluck the lotus seeds, which were as green as the water itself.

She stowed the plucked seeds away in her sleeves; the lotus’s heart was red to the core.
Longing for her still-unseen gentleman, she looks up, hoping for a goose in flight.
Geese in flight filled Xizhou’s skies with their wings; she scales her quarters to gaze towards him.
The home’s height is not enough to see him; she leans ‘pon the banister the day long.

The banister’s poles warp and weave in twelves, while her hung hands were as splendrous as jade.
A rolled curtain is the sky, up on high; it rippled vast green, like ocean water.
Ocean water went on, much like this dream. Her gent’s sorrow is her own sorrow, too.
The southern wind knew well what she wanted, carrying her dream to Xizhou for her.

Original Text
忆梅下西洲,折梅寄江北。
单衫杏子红,双鬓鸦雏色。
西洲在何处?两桨桥头渡。
日暮伯劳飞,风吹乌臼树。
树下即门前,门中露翠钿。
开门郎不至,出门采红莲。
采莲南塘秋,莲花过人头。
低头弄莲子,莲子清如水。
置莲怀袖中,莲心彻底红。
忆郎郎不至,仰首望飞鸿。
鸿飞满西洲,望郎上青楼。
楼高望不见,尽日栏杆头。
栏杆十二曲,垂手明如玉。
卷帘天自高,海水摇空绿。
海水梦悠悠,君愁我亦愁。
南风知我意,吹梦到西洲。

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