Poems of Yu Xuanji
Reward for Li's Walking Me Home after Fishing on a Summer Day in Old Ying.
Although we live on the same narrow street,
We haven't walked together in years.
A pure lyric persuades an old woman,
As she breaks branches off a cinnamon bush.
Daoist nature cheats the ice and snow.
Original mind smiles at these fine clothes.
Those who ascended left their traces above us.
In these misty waters, no way for us to meet.
Possibilities. Yu Xuanji spends the day fishing in Ying, the old Chu capital near Chang'an, and bumps into her ex-husband. He offers to walk her home. She demurs. He quotes appropriately virtuous poetry. She laughs and says, "Okay." Or the poetry is used earlier to convince her to go fishing. And she says yes, if he can have her home by dusk. Or similar. The poem says that she really loves him still -- but coming together is impossible. Which he already knew. But she has to say it. The poem must come from the last few years of her short life.
Bai Juyi had a Daoist friend who could use his inner whatever to be cool in summer and warm in winter and so might always wear simple clothes. This skill is still achieved today among very traditional Chinese boxers.