At dawn, I have heard the oriole sing by the great houses of Nanjing.
I have seen the flowers blossom by the riverside.
Who was to know that it might so easily vanish?
眼看他起朱楼 眼看他宴宾客 眼看他楼塌了
I saw them build the courtesan's quarters, saw them feast and make merry.
But I saw, too, how the building collapsed.
Now moss covers those piles of broken bricks.
I, too, was once taken in by opulence, but, over fifty years, I have at
last seen through this rise and fall.
那乌衣巷不姓王 莫愁湖鬼夜哭 凤凰台栖枭鸟
The old families no longer live in those houses; and the ghosts' nocturnal
wailing echoes on the lake. The houses of power have become owl roosts.
残山梦最真 旧境丢难掉 不信这舆图换稿
Broken dreams are the most real, and sights once seen are hard to forget.
Though it may seem hard to believe, the old dynasty has already fallen.
I have written these laments for you. Intone them sadly, and grow old.
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