Poems of Bai Juyi
River, Tower, Moon
Jialing River sings. Its pools echo the tune.
Under this bright moon, men meet and part.
A night landscape we will keep in our hearts.
Leading our lives alone, who knows how far apart.
Who can guess my feelings by the riverbank this night?
Only now am I missing you, here beside these waters.
This morning we spoke together of our regrets.
Overcome with emotion, I send you this poem.
It is 809 and I am guessing that Bai Juyi's best friend, Yuan Zhen, is the subject of this poem. It was in this year that Yuan first overstepped himself and was banished to Hubei Province. It will not be the last time that he gets himself into trouble. Yuan must have left this very day. And now Bai Juyi is out on the river, by a tower where friends meet to part, and finds himself saying goodbye once more to his absent friend.