Poems of Bai Juyi
For my River Guest
River willows cast cold shadows on newly wet ground.
Above the fortress, geese are anxious for a frosty sky.
I worry that you will face a night alone out in the open
With cattails on the river and a boatful of moon.
It is 815 and Bai is in exile in Xunyang, Jiangzhou. Many of his poems from this time come from what happens on this river: meeting the pipa master, drinking with Liu Ke, generally moping over his absent friend, Yuan Zhen. This is one more of these and the guest is anonymous. Only the geese and the cattails are mentioned by name.