She Sings an Old Song
A lady of the palace these twenty years,
She has lived here a thousand miles from her home -
Yet ask her for this song and, with the first few words of it,
See how she tries to hold back her tears.
Of One in the Forbidden City
When the moonlight, reaching a tree by the gate,
Shows her a quiet bird on its nest,
She removes her jade hairpins and sits in the shadow
And puts out a flame where a moth was flying.
- Chang Hu (translated from the Chinese by Witter Bynner)