Song of a Fairy in the Cave
By the end of the year on the Southern shore
When early mume blossoms disappear,
The newcome spring dwells on the weeping willow tree,
Its slender waist reveals a personality free,
And what is more,
Its trunk appears more elegant and free.
Along the way
There is no sight-seer all the day.
Who’d come to see your golden thread in sunlight sway?
Your heart would break to see catkins fly,
Your green leaves make a shade of deep dye.
Having nothing to do,
You would grow thinner, too.
If you come again with vernal breeze now,
It would dispel the vernal grief on your brow.
The poet describes the willow tree and compares it to a beautiful lady.
It was written in December of 1082, when Su Shi was deported to Huangzhou to live in Ding Hui Yuan. The first piece is about the beauty of the willow’s physiognomy and charm, while the second piece turns to a lament about the willow’s misfortune. With a subtle and gentle approach and a tone full of emotion, the author expresses his deep sympathy and praise for the beautiful and talented women who have lost their beauty and fortune through the forlorn and out-of-time weeping willow.