Bright moon, when was your birth?
Wine cup in hand, I ask the deep blue sky;
not knowing what year it is tonight
in those celestial palaces on high.
I long to fly back on the wind,
yet dread those crystal towers, those courts of jade,
Freezing to death among those icy heights!
Instead I rise to dance with my pale shadow;
better off, after all, in the world of men.
Rounding the red pavilion,
stooping to look through gauze windows,
she shines on the sleepless.
The moon should know no sadness;
why, then, is she always full when dear ones are parted?
For men the grief of parting, joy of reunion,
just as the moon wanes and waxes, is bright or dim:
Always some flaw - and so it has been since of old.
My one wish for you, is long life
And a share in this loveliness far, far away!