After the separation of death one can eventually swallow back one's grief, but the separation of the living is an endless, unappeasable anxiety. From pestilent Chiang-nan no news arrives of the poor exile. That my old friend should come into my dream shows how constantly he is in my thoughts. I fear that this is not the soul of a living man: the journey is so immeasurably far. When your soul left, the maple woods were green: on its return the passes were black with night. Lying now enmeshed in the net of the law, how did you find wings with which to fly here? The light of the sinking moon illumines every beam and rafter of my chamber, and I half expect it to light up your face. The water is deep, the waves are wide: don't let the water-dragons get you.
All day long the floating clouds drift by, and still the wanderer has not arrived! For three nights running I have repeatedly dreamed of you. Such affectionate concern on your part shows your feelings for me! Each time you said goodbye you seemed so uneasy. `It isn't easy to come', you would say bitterly; `The waters are so rough. I am afriad the boat will capsize!' Going out of my door you scratched your white head as if your whole life's ambition had been frustrated. The Capital is full of new officials, yet a man like this is so wretched! Who is going to tell me that the `net is wide' when this ageing man remains in difficulties? Imperishable renown is cold comfort when you can only enjoy it in the tomb!