Song of the Southern Shore
By riverside I pick white duckweed in company;
And watch the divine procession carelessly.
As I dare not show that for my husband I yearn,
I cast a coin aside to know when he’ll return.
This poem describes a woman eager to see the return of her husband.
“Song of the Southern Shore” is a seven-line poem written by the Tang Dynasty poet Yu Gong. The first two lines of the poem describe a woman going on an excursion with her companion and watching the ritual of the river gods, which are a kind of prelude and a description of the environment. The second two lines describe the woman’s secret divination. Through describing the woman’s subtle movements and complex state of mind, the poem expresses the mistress’ love for her husband.