Poems of Yu Xuanji
Spring Feelings Sent to Zi'an
Mountain path, so steep. Dangerous stone stairs.
Not anxious for this hard climb. Hard is missing you.
Distant stream, ice melts in a pitiful, clear rhyme.
Snow on cold, far peaks looks somehow just like jade.
Don't listen to those common songs of spring sickness and wine.
I only borrowed an idle guest and spent the night at go.
Like the pines, and not the rocks, I swear I'll linger here.
Wing to wing, with heart's desire, I'm willing to be late.
Although sad to walk alone the whole of a winter's day,
At its end, I regard the moon. And its fullness regards me.
My having left you, how can you bear to take up this, my gift?
Tears are falling in the bright light of this entire poem.
If there is a sweeter love story than Yu and Li in China, I haven't heard of it. They loved each other before marriage. And after marriage, she leaves because she must, for the sake of the Dao. But she sends him the world's gentlest Dear John letter and he sends her a sleeping mat in return. And now, later on, from a winter's mountain, she again sends her love.
You will notice that she simply calls Li Yi by his courtesy name, Zi'an. No more Li in front. So this poem is written any time after 863 when she leaves him. No other clues are given.
The mountain and stone steps need be no more than a monastery on Luoyang's Southern Hill or Chang'an's Mount Mang. It could be Goddess Mountain where Washing Silk Temple may sit. But I'd guess one of the first two is more likely. The idle guest could be a guest at those temples or an idle traveler at an inn on some wilder mountain. But not too wild. Mountains don't grow stone steps.