Tune: “Prelude to the Melody of Water”
On the night of the Mid-Autumn Festival of 1076, I drank happily till dawn and wrote this in my cups while thinking of Ziyou.
How long will the bright moon appear?
Wine-cup in hand, I ask the sky.
I do not know what time of year
It would be tonight in the palace on high.
Riding the wind, there I would fly,
Yet I fear the crystal palace would be
Far too high and cold for me.
I rise and dance, with my shadow I play.
On high as on earth, would it be as gay?
The moon goes round the mansion red
Through gauze-draped windows soft to shed
Her light upon the sleepless bed.
Against man she should have no spite.
Why then when people part is the oft full and bright?
Men have sorrow and joy, they part or meet again;
The moon may be bright or dim, she may wax or wane.
There has been nothing perfect since the olden days.
So let us wish that man
Will live long as he can!
Though miles apart, we’ll share the beauty she displays.