All day long, I ache for spring, for spring's already gone.
The flowers left behind: who's around to savor their smell?
A yellow oriole, in the tangled leaves, warbles insistently;
A purple butterfly, searching for spring, flies off by itself.
Old time feeling: the flourishing capital is now a fantasy;
Seeing a friend off: all the more unsettled by the onrushing river.
O Prince of Friends, refrain from summoning the hermit with a song:
Back to the fresh flora in the mountain garden: this wish I will not deny.
-- K'ang Yu-Wei (1858-1927), from the Chinese poetry collection, Waiting for the Unicorn