How Long Has the Bright Moon Existed?

How long has the bright moon existed?
I raise the wine cup to ask the sapphire sky
What year is tonight in celestial palaces?
I could ride the wind to return there
but fear the unbearable chill
high in jade towers with jeweled eaves

I dance with my crisp shadow
in delight known only to mortals
Circles painted pavilions
Seeps over carved doors
Shines on the sleepless

The moon has no regrets
Why does it glow in full over parted humans?
Misery and joy cycle as we separate and reunite
The moon wanes and waxes
Time forbids perfection
Let us live long to share moonlight’s spell
though a thousand miles apart

— Su Dongpo, Song poet, 1036-1101 CE

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