Tune: “Fragrance of Laurel Branch”
Memories of the Past at Jinling
I climb a height
And strain my sight,
Of autumn late ‘tis the best time.
The ancient capital looks sublime!
The limpid River, belt-like, flows a thousand miles,
Emerald peaks on peaks tower in grandiose styles.
In the declining sun sails come and go,
In west wind wineshop flags fly high and low.
The painted boat
In clouds afloat,
Like stars in Milky Way white egrets fly.
What a picture before the eye!
In days gone by,
For opulence people did vie.
Alas! Shame came on shame beneath the walls,
In palace halls.
Against the rails, in vain I call
O’er ancient kingdoms’ rise and fall.
The running water saw Six Dynasties pass;
But I see only chilly mist and withered grass.
E’en now the songstresses still sing
The songs composed by captive king.