Deft boys and pretty girls
Reach an understanding while boating;
Their prows veer slowly,
But the winecups pass quickly;
Their oars are entangled,
As they cut through the duckweed,
And girls with slender waists
Turn to gaze behind them.
Now spring and summer meet,
Leaves are tender, flowers fresh;
With smiles they protect their silks,
Drawing in their skirts, afraid lest the boat upset.
There we have a picture of these merry excursions. This must have been a delightful event, and it is a great pity we cannot enjoy it today.
I also remember some lines from the poem West Islet:
When they gather lotus at Nantang in autumn
The lotus blooms are higher than their heads;
They stoop to pick lotus seeds,
Seeds as translucent as water.
If any girls were here now to pick the lotus, the flowers would reach above their heads too -- ah, rippling shadows alone are not enough! I was feeling quite homesick for the south, when I suddenly looked up to discover I had reached my own door. Pushing it softly open and tiptoeing in, I found all quiet inside, and my wife fast asleep.