A poem gifted to Sima Pei
Author: Bai Li(AD701-AD762, Tang Dynasty)
Translator: Lei Fan 2017 in Chicago
Mix emerald and the gold strings,
weaving your new dress for dancing.
Besides the moon shines from the clouds,
Your lustre has no one can compare.
With such beauty and splendor you have,
Ridicules will pour upon you in the harem.
Faithless emperor turns his eyes to others,
His love and grace scatter in the autumn wind.
Since then you live in toil and distress,
With tears, weave dresses for the new belle.
In the bitter cold, hands are freezing,
Candles dim again and again in such long night.
Barely able to make a bolt of cloth with ten days,
Once silky hairs are now disheveled and unkempt.
Even live in such miserable condition,
Still endowed with a rare and radiant grace.
Smile again with your gleaming white teeth,
Gaze at me again, do not leave me here alone.