White-haired in the Shang-yang Palace — Pitying the Unloved

Shang-yang dweller
Shang-yang dweller
rosy face aging imperceptibly, white hairs new.
A green-robed attendant guards the palace gates;
once they close on Shang-yang, how many springs?
" In Hsüan-tsung's last years I was taken into service,
at sixteen entered the palace, sixty now,
a hundred and more chosen at that time,
but they fell away as the years deepened — I alone remain.
I remember long ago how I swallowed the pain, took leave of family,
helped into the carriage, not letting myself cry;
all said, once in the palace, surely you'll find favor,
face like lotus blossoms, breasts like jade.
But before I'd even glimpsed the ruler's countenance
he fell prey to far-off glances of Yang Kuei-fei.
Jealousy decreed banishment to Shang-yang Palace,
to a lifetime sleeping in an empty room.
Autumn nights are long —
long nights sleepless — will skies never brighten?
Fading lamp flickering flickering beyond the partition,
swish-swish of dark rain beating at the window.
Spring days go slowly —
slow days, sitting alone, dusk so long coming,
a hundred chirps of palace warblers, to grief a hateful sound;
paired swallows nesting in eaves — old, I no longer envy them.
Warblers depart, swallows fly off, but my misery goes on forever;
spring ends, autumn comes, I've lost count of the years.
Deep here in the palace I gaze at the bright moon —
east, west, four, five hundred times I've watched it grow round!
Today I'm the oldest person in the palace —
from far away the sovereign grants me the title Shang-shu. "
Shoes with pointy tips, a close-fitting gown,
eyebrows painted blue-black, long thin eyebrows —
no outsiders see her — if they did they'd laugh,
decked in fashions of the late T'ien-pao era.
Shang-yang dweller
so many sorrows
sorrowful youth
sorrowful old age
youthful sorrow, old age sorrow — must she bear both?
Past times, have you never read Lü Hsiang's " Fu on Beautiful Women " ?
Do you not now read this poem on the white-haired of Shang-yang?
Author of original: 
Po Ch├╝-i
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