My Husband’s Eyes

Quan Deyu (759 – 818)
Last night I left my skirt and belt undone,
This morning now a lucky spider flies;
I start to gather scents and makeup quick
For soon I think I’ll see my husband’s eyes.
玉臺體Yù Tái Tǐ
權德輿Quán Déyú
昨夜裙帶解Zuó yè qún dài jiě
今朝蟢子飛Jīn zhāo xǐ zǐ fēi
鉛華不可棄Qiān huá bú kě qì
莫是藁砧歸Mò shì gǎo zhēn guī
Transliteration and Notes
Jade Tower Style
Last night skirt belt undone
This morning spider offspring flies
Plumbum flower not able discard
Cannot be wood stone return
“Jade Tower Style” = the name of this style of poetry. “Plumbum flower” = cosmetic powder. “Spider offspring” = small spiders with long legs, considered a lucky omen. “Wood stone” = husband.
This poem is written from the perspective of a woman whose husband is away. She longs for him and loosens the girdle around her dress at night. In the morning she sees a lucky spider and takes it as an omen that her husband will return soon, so she quickly gathers her makeup to get ready and look beautiful for him.

Author of original: 
Quan Deyu