Love Poems by Lu You and Tang Yuan

At the Shen Garden (沈園) accidental encounter, Tang Yuan, with her husband’s permission, had some food and wine sent over to her ex-husband Lu You as a courtesy (presumably they were at different spots inside the big mansion). Her gesture got Lu all sentimental, and the lovelorn poet improvised his poem on a wall, which Tang later set her sight on, and she wrote her own reply there.

【釵頭鳳】紅酥手 南宋 • 陸游

紅酥手,黃藤酒,滿城春色宮牆柳。

東風惡,歡情薄,一懷愁緒,幾年離索。

錯!錯!錯!

春如舊,人空瘦,淚痕浥紅鮫綃透。

桃花落,閒池閣,山盟雖在,錦書難托。

莫!莫!莫!

My English Rendition (Title: Phoenix Hairpin by Lu You):-

Tasty pork, golden wine, spring came amidst willows draped over walls.

Wicked custom, short-lived joy, leaves a pining heart, and lonely years befall.

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Spring comes and goes, as I waste away; my tears have soaked many a handkerchief.

Peach blossoms fall, by the lonely pond, our vows intact, yet we can’t connect.

Lost! Lost! Lost!

【釵頭鳳】世情惡 南宋 • 唐婉

世情薄,人情惡,雨送黃昏花易落。

曉風乾,淚痕殘,欲箋心事,獨倚斜欄。

難!難!難!

人成各,今非昨,病魂常似鞦韆索。

角聲寒,夜闌珊,怕人詢問,咽淚裝歡。

瞞!瞞!瞞!

My English Rendition (Title: Phoenix Hairpin by Tang Yuan):-

A pitiless world, hard-hearted people, the evening rain beats petals down.

Morning wind dries, not the tears, I want to write, but can only lean on the fence.

Tough! Tough! Tough!

We parted ways, yesteryears gone, the ghost of sickness haunts like a hanging rope.

The horn is chilling, the night is long, shunning questions, I dry my tears and feign joy.

Hide! Hide! Hide!