Song of Flower Shrub
When will the sorrow end
To watch my parting friend
From a tower above?
Nothing is so intense as love.
My sorrow interweaves
A thousand twigs of willow leaves;
The pathway east of the town
Is shrouded in wafting willow down.
His neighing steed is far away,
A cloud of dust still darkening the day.
Where is the place
To find my lover’s trace?
A pair of lovebirds seems to melt in water clean:
Little leaflike boats go
North and south, to and fro.
After dusk in the twilight
I dare not go up the painted bower on the height.
What will again be seen
But the waning moon shining on window-screen?
How deeply I envy peach and apricot trees
Newly wed to and oft caressed by vernal breeze!
The poet describes a woman’s love so deep as to envy the peach caressed by the breeze.
“Song of Flower Shrub” is a lyric by Zhang Xian of the Northern Song Dynasty. It describes a woman’s longing and sorrow after her lover has left her house. The last two lines of the lyric express the heroine’s persistence in love, cherishing her youth, yearning for happiness, protesting against a boring life and pursuing beautiful things through a graphic and novel metaphor, which is a famous line that has been recited throughout the ages.