A Feast of Lanterns, by L. Cranmer-Byng, , at sacred-texts.com
The east wind has returned. The green of the
grass renews and I know that spring is here.
Streams unbound awake into the dance of life.
Softly the weeping willow waves its long slim
What sorrow is there in its movement!
Light of the sky, most fair, most tender blue!
Air of the sea, sweet-scented, fresh, green-tinged!
Bright colours on the emerald, dreaming off into
the distance in a half-seen veil—such was the
The little clouds hover lightly in the heights, each
melting into the more radiant beyond.
Headlong waters are gathered in headlong streams.
My glance falls on the moss by the river-bend.
How delicate and swift its movements in the
Gauze of the wandering threads whirled here and
there, my spirit is minded to escape and whirl
along with you.
O air and light! I am drunk with you! I am
dazed—and I am plunged in sorrow.
One who has hearkened to the waters roaring
down from the heights of Lung, and faint
voices from the land of Ch‘in; one who has
listened to the cries of monkeys on the shores
of the Yang-tse-Kiang, and the songs of the
land of Pa; that renowned beauty Wang
Chao-Chün, who saw before her the last
jasper gate of her native land; that renowned
Ch‘u poet singing the glories of the tinted
maple wood—ah! these knew sorrow.
And if I ascend, and, mindful of them, look out
across the blue horizon, I feel the keen pang
of grief that, piercing through me, finds my
The soul of man swells like a wave at the coming
But there is also the sadness of spring-time, which,
like falling snow, distracts us.
Both sorrow and joy throbbing and pulsing—a
countless crowd of feelings are stirred and
mingle together in this festival of perfume.
What if I have a friend far away on the shores of
the Hsiang! Clouds part us and hide us
from each other.
Upon a little wave I shed the tears of separation,
and—little wave going eastward, take to
my friend my soul-felt love.
Oh! that I could grasp this golden light of
spring, keep it and horde it—a treasure-trove
of days for my fairest far-off friend.