Mr. Cao Xuechin (Qing Dynasty)
Translated by Laijon Liu
Blossom fading, blossom fly, and blossom filled the sky;
Their color faded, fragrance gone, but who would pity them and care?
Floating floss softly swung around the spring bower,
And their falling feather kindly rested on embroidered blind.
The maiden in the boudoir grieved for the spring’s end,
Sorrow filled her heart, but without a way to express,
So she picked a rake and walked out of embroidered blind,
Gently stepped on the fallen petal pass that comes and goes.
Elm and willow also possess their own fragrance,
And they care not the splendor of plum and peach.
Plum and peach will blossom next spring,
But who would be in the boudoir at that time?
The sweet nest was built in three months,
By a heartless swallow who picked the girder.
And next year, flower blossom that he may peck,
But who knows that the people gone, girder emptied, and nest fell.
Yearly three hundred and sixty days,
Cutting winds and striking frost tortured all them.
How long they would remain their glamours?
Once they are gone, and then forever lost.
Blossom easily shown, after fall, they cannot be found;
By their grave the burier bewailed her loss.
Alone with the rake she silently cried,
And her tear fell on the empty boughs, revealed the bloody trail.
At sunset, the cuckoo sang no more,
The maiden went back and shut the door,
Dimming light shined upon the wall, she went to bed,
The cold raindropp knocking the window, and her blanket was still chill.
“Ah, the things in my heart that break all my spirit,
I pity for the spring and I’m angry with the spring:
I pity for its quick coming, and I’m angry about its swift passing.
It comes with no word and leaves me in silence.
Last night, outside, a lamentation song was heard,
Do not know it was from flower ghost or bird soul?
Whether flower ghost or bird soul, they wouldn’t stay;
Bird doesn’t sing and flower doesn’t remain.
I wish I would grow a pair wings,
Follow the petal I fly, to the end of heavens.
But in heavens
Are there any fragrance tombs?
But better I collect their beauteous bones in silk bag,
And cover their romance tale under a jar of earth,
For there they come from purely and purely they shall return,
Than rot in the dirt that cram the ditch.
Today you died and I bury you,
But when is my time that I go to the end?
Today I bury flower and people tease me and laugh,
But another year I die and who’ll bury me? ”
Look, spring withered and blossom faded,
It is time of youth getting old and to their end.
One day, spring ends and youthful face gets old,
Flower fall and maiden gone, they’d both forget about each other.
The author is the greatest writer in Chinese Literature and literature, poet, novelist. His book ‘Dream of Red Chamber a.k.a. Story of Stone” is the best literature I think. And if anyone wants to know about Chinese culture and literature, his book is the one.
The poem is from his book, chapter 27, Volume 2, a main character, Daiyu, a teenage girl buries fallen flower according to one of Chinese tradition on April 26, called “Ceremony to flower goddess / Flower Sacrifice”.
It is very difficult to translate his verse. There is a very good translation:
二十七回 滴翠亭杨妃戏彩蝶 埋香冢飞燕泣残红