Tune: “Water Dragon Chant”
After Zhang Zhi-fu’s lyric on willow catkins, using the same rhyming words.
They seem to be yet not be flowers,
None pity them when they fall down in showers.
By the roadside they roam;
I think they have no feeling to impart,
But they could have thoughts deep.
See grief benumb their tender heart,
Their wistful eyes near shut with sleep,
About to open, yet closed again.
They dream of going with the wind for long,
Long miles to find a tender-hearted man,
But are aroused by the orioles’ song.
I do not grieve the willow catkins flown away,
But that in Western Garden fallen red
Can’t be restored. When dawns the day
And rain is o’er, we cannot find their traces
But in a pond with duckweeds overspread.
Of Spring’s three graces,
Two have gone with the roadside dust;
One with the waves. But if you just take a close look, you will never
Find catkins but tear-drops of those who separated.