Changgan Memories
Li Bai

My hair first cover forehead
Break flower gate before play
You ride bamboo horse come
Round walkway play green plums
Together live Changgan county
Two little without suspicion suspicion
Fourteen become your wife
Shy face still not open.
Lower head face dark wall
Thousand call not one turn
Fifteen start open brow
Wish together dust and ash
Always maintain massive pillar faith
Why climb look husband platform
Sixteen you far go
Qutang Yanyudui
Fifth month not risk run aground
Ape sound sky on sorrow
Gate before back and forth mark
One by one grow green moss
Moss deep not able sweep
Fall leaf autumn wind early
Eighth month butterfly yellow
Pair fly west garden grass
Feel this hurt my heart
Because sorrow red face old
When descend Sanba
Before do letter send home
Mutual come to meet not say far
Up to Changfengsha.
When first my hair began to cover my forehead,
I picked and played with flowers before the gate.
You came riding on a bamboo horse,
And circled the walkway, playing with green plums.
We lived together, here in Changgan county,
Two children, without the least suspicion.
When I was fourteen, I became your wife,
So shy that still my face remained unopened.
I bowed my head towards the shadowed wall,
And called one thousand times, I turned not once.
At 15 I began to lift my brows,
And wished to be with you as dust with ashes.
You always kept your massive pillar faith,
I had no need to climb the lookout hill.
When I was sixteen, you went far away,
To Yanyudui, within the Qutang gorge.
You should not risk the dangerous floods of May,
Now from the sky, the monkeys cry in mourning.
Before the gate, my pacing's left a mark,
Little by little, the green moss has grown.
The moss is now too deep to sweep away,
And leaves fall in the autumn's early winds.
This August, all the butterflies are yellow,
A pair fly over the western garden's grass.
I feel that they are damaging my heart,
Through worrying, my rosy face grows old.
When you come down the river from Sanba,
Beforehand, send a letter to your home.
We'll go to meet each other, however far,
I'll come up to Changfengsha.
View Chinese text in traditional characters.

bamboo horse: a bamboo cane used as a toy horse.
Changgan: near Nanjing.
massive pillar faith: a reference to the story of a man who arranged to meet his lover by the pillar of a bridge. When the river waters rose, he continued to hold on to the pillar, and drowned.
Qutang gorge: one of the Yangzi's three gorges.

This poem also exists in a famous translation by Ezra Pound. Analysis of this translation and comparisons of different versions can be found here. Pound's source material and other translations are here.
Other Chinese poems about Separation and Autumn.