Song of Riverside Mume
· A Dream
Long, long ago we bade adieu.
Seeing mume trees,
How can I not miss you?
How many times in our native land
I’ve dreamed of strolling with you hand in hand!
I can’t find you in my dreams tonight;
Alone I toss in bed, left and right.
Without knowing my coverlet chilled through.
The tears I shed on my letter mingle with ink.
None play the lute or drink.
I’ll send my letter but find no wild geese.
Last time we visited the lane;
The old trees are now steeped in setting sun in vain,
You can’t but break
The promise of boating with me on the lake.
Singing the song of spring grass growing lush again,
The roamer grieves
And sheds tears to wet his sleeves.
The poet often dreams of his love on seeing mume blossoms.
Jiang Kui is a lyricist of the Southern Song Dynasty. The first piece is about the feelings of longing for the plum blossoms, which become a dream; the second piece is about the painful feelings of longing for each other after waking up, and the tears to write a letter, but there is no way to send it. The whole lyric is sincere and lingering, expressing the love-hate of the lyricist whose dreams are broken in the green tower and the pain of his wandering in the world.