Always I see that stream, the pavilion, the reddening sun
- to the Tune of Rumengling
trans. by Gordon Osing and Julia Min
Always I see that stream, the pavilion, the reddening sun,
and the girls lost their way home, too taken with wine.
and too joy-filled to start back so late in the day,
into a world of lotus blooms we strayed.
Pull, she said, pull, if only
to startle the gulls and herons from this maze.
Other versions for your reference (许渊冲): http://www.231395.com/y/gssttmgsyjyagetjttgsyjpmgsygtsgotssygusotqguyosqgoyqyoghttyh/
According to scholars, this poem was probably written in 1107, when Li Qing-zhao was in her early twenties. It is sometimes called "Drinking Joy" which we dropped for the first line since the image resonates with her happy moments of childhood memories. It is believed this ci depicts an event in her life, a day outing with her dear friends. They were caught in maze of lotus blooms and hundreds of birds rising up around them, an image of carefree joy and innocent pleasure in the junior world.
1. "chen zui": deeply drunk, but not simply in the sense of intoxication, also in the sense of Keats' reverie, in "Ode to a Nightingale," i.e., lost in pleasurable or hypnotic dreaming.
2. "wu ru": "mistake into", i.e., not paying attention to where she was going;