The wind blows catkins off the willows;
their fragrance fills the tavern.
Our hostess brings the guests new wine
she urges us to savor.
Young friends from Jinling came today
to drink and see me off.
I must leave, and they must stay—
we let our last cups linger.
Friends, let’s ask the water flowing
far away to the east:
The river, or sadness of farewell—
which of the two is longer?
© 2006 by Keith Holyoak (translator)
First printed in Literary Imagination (2006)