Bai Juyi Poem: The Last Look at the Peonies at Night – 白居易《惜牡丹花》









[1] 红:这里代指牡丹花。

The Last Look at the Peonies at Night

Bai Juyi

I’m saddened by the courtyard peonies brilliant red,

At dusk only two of them are left on their bed.

I am afraid they can’t survive the morning blast,

By lantern light I take a look at the long, long last.

This quatrain reveals the poet’s love for the last peonies in his courtyard.


The poem “Cherishing Peony Flowers” is a seven-part poem written by the poet Bai Juyi in the Tang Dynasty. Through a unique perspective, the poem shows the author’s love for the peonies in the Hanlin courtyard and his complex feeling of reluctance to let go of them because the flowering period is about to expire, expressing his infinite regret for the dying spring. This poem is unique among all the flower poems in the world, for it is a fresh idea of “shining the fire” on the peonies and expresses the infinite pity for the peonies and the deep emotion of the passing years and the difficulty of youth.

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