Li Shangyin Poem: A Nobleman’s Wife – 李商隐《为有》









[1] 为有:以首句前两字为题,也属于无题诗一类。

[2] 云屏:用云母石做成的屏风。

[3] 凤城:京城。

[4] 衾:被子。

A Nobleman’s Wife

Li Shangyin

Behind the screen his wife is charming without peer,

But she’s afraid the vernal night should be too short.

Why should she be wed to her noble lord so dear?

At early dawn he’d leave her pillow for the court.

This quatrain describes the sorrow of a nobleman’s wife whose lord should rise early to go to court.


The poem “A Nobleman’s Wife” is a work by Li Shangyin, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. It is a poem about a woman’s grievances. The main character is a rich woman who is married to her beloved and is in love with her husband, so she is in love with him in the depths of the cloud screen, and the spring night is short. But her husband has to get up early to go to court, so she complains about the “end” and “disappointing the fragrant bed”. The work contrasts the couple’s love for each other with the early morning, and uses emotionlessness to write about amorousness and amorousness to complain about emotionlessness, with extremely detailed psychological portrayal and subtle and deep style.

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