Waiting To Marry A Student

A poem by Edward Powys Mathers

I still walk slowly on the river bank
Where I came singing,
And where I saw your boat pass up beyond the sun
Setting red in the river.
I want Autumn,
I want the leaves to begin falling at once,
So that the cold time may bring us close again
Like K'ien Niü and Chik Nü, the two stars.

Each year when Autumn comes
The crows make a black bridge across the milky sea,
And then these two poor stars
Can run together in gold and be at peace.
Darling, for my sake work hard
And be received with honour at the Examinations.

Since I saw your boat pass up beyond the sun
I have forgotten how to sing
And how to paddle the canoe across the lake.
I know how to sit down and how to be sad,
And I know how to say nothing;
But every other art has slipped away.

Song of Annam.

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