Poems of Yu Xuanji
Sharing What I'm Feeling
Pouring my regrets into the red strings of my lute,
I cherish feelings I cannot put into words.
I always knew how to attain the grace I wanted
But have not yet grasped the fragrant heart.
The peaches and the plums, they are in blossom.
I wasn't wrong to seek the best of company.
No longer can I see the distant pines and laurels
But still desire the respect of the common man.
The moonlight washes over these moss stained steps
While from the bamboo grove I hear a distant song.
Outside my gate, the ground is strewn with red leaves.
Don't sweep them. I'm expecting an understanding friend.
This is another poem, from her last year or so, which indicates Yu Xuanji knows she is dying. Pines are a symbol of long life and they are passing beyond her expectations. Laurel groves also have something to do with Daoist virtue and she no longer expects to achieve this either. She knew which road she wanted and took it. But she didn't reach the end. Of course, who does? You can practice what she practiced for eight decades and the end of the road is still 仓仓天涯遥, beyond the distant edge of Heaven.