The Phoenix Bird Tower was situated to the north of Nanking, once the capital of Wu, Chin, and many other states. A legend has it that three birds of five-colored wings, resembling the peacock, nestled here once, and they sang so melodiously that all other birds of the vicinity were attracted to the tower. Those three birds were the Phoenix. Here once on the Phoenix Bird Tower the phoenix birds came to nest.
Now the birds are gone, and the tower empty; only the river flows aimlessly on.
Here where the garden of Wu palace bloomed, the deep grass hides the paths;
Where the kings of Chin vaunted their regalia, is only an old hill.
I see the three peaks hang aloft as though half-dropped from the sky,
And the river divide in two streams, holding the White Heron Island between.
But the floating clouds cover the sun,
And the city of Chang-an is lost in distance and gloom.