A Feast of Lanterns, by L. Cranmer-Byng, , at sacred-texts.com
A native of the province of Kiang-su, Yang Chi became a district magistrate and afterwards secretary to the Minister of War, by whom he was sent into the province of Shansi as Treasurer-General to the Forces. He suffered the fate of so many Chinese officials, being impeached and falsely accused and finally condemned to life-long exile, during which the following suggestive little poem was written.
As pure as autumn water falls the dew;
And cool of night is born when faintly sighs
The wind, that outcast of the twilight, dies,
And the green gloom of random grass anew
Covers the undulating shores. I see
Far out upon the lake an island gleaming
With a girdle of red nenuphar, and, dreaming,
I fill my sail o’ dreams in search of thee.
Cold eyes of strangers follow me, and fears
Start with the trumpet from the ramparts blown.
And on my darkened robes are sown
Two pearls, my tears.