Li Po - The River Captain’s wife
Type of Spiritual Experience
The text which accompanied this translation indicated that this was Li Po's wife and he had written it as though he was her.
A description of the experience
The River Captain’s wife
When my hair first covered my forehead,
I picked flowers and played with them by my gate.
You came, riding on a bamboo horse,
and played with plums around the railing of the well.
We both lived in Changan village,
two children with no suspicion of each other.
At fourteen, I became your wife;
I was shy, and had not yet smiled at you.
I lowered my head toward the shaded wall;
you called a thousand times, but I never answered.
At fifteen, I first began to smile,
and hoped we would be together, even as dust or ashes
I believed we would never be apart,
so why would I ever need to climb the lookout tower?
When I was sixteen, you went on a long journey,
through Qutang Gorge with its Yanyu rocks,
sharp beneath the high water of the fifth month,
where the sad cries of the apes fill the skies.
By the front gate, your footprints are still there,
but one by one they fill with moss,
moss so deep now, I can’t sweep it away,
as leaves fall early in autumn winds.
In the eighth month, yellow butterflies have come;
pairs of them flutter in our western garden.
Seeing these things makes my heart sad;
I sit, mourning the loss of my youthful beauty.
When, at last, you set out from the Three Gorges,
send a letter to let me know.
I will come to meet you. No matter how far,
even all the way to Long Wind Sands.