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The Book of Poetry, tr. by James Legge, [1876], at

p. 63


The Shih Jên; narrative. Chuang Chiang as she appeared on her arrival in Wei. Her great connections; her beauty; her equipage; the riches of Ch‘i.

1  The lady was of figure large and tall.
    In broidered robe, hid ’neath a garment plain,
  A bride, she came from Ch‘i's high palace hall,
    In Wei, as wife of our great lord to reign.
    ’Gainst her of no inferior birth the stain
  Could be alleged, sister of Ch‘i's great heir.
    Of other grand alliances a train
  She could display, for her two sisters fair
The highest dignity in Hsing and T'an did wear.

2  Like blades of white grass were her fingers fine;
    Her skin like purest ointment hard congealed;
  Her neck like larvæ on the tree which shine
    So long and white. Her opening lips revealed
    Her even teeth, behind their screen concealed,
  Like melon seeds. Her front cicada-square,
  Displayed her eyebrows curved upon its field,
    Like horns of silkworm moth; and dimples rare,
With dark and lucid eyes, showed face beyond compare. p. 64

3  When, on her coming, near the city wall,
    She halted in the cultured fields, each eye
  Viewed with delight her figure large and tall.
    Her team of mettled steeds their bits tossed high,
  Round which was twined red cloth in rich supply.
  Then in her carriage she went on in state,
   Its pheasant screens oft followed by the cry,
  "Early retire from court, ye nobles great;
The marquis leave unfired, to cherish this fit mate."

4  Where out of Ch‘i into our state she passed,
    Its banks all green with rush and sedges rank,
  Northwards the Ho rolled on the waters vast
    Of its majestic stream, while in it sank
    With plashing sound the nets, which dripping, drank,
  The toiling fishers dropt into the wave,
    ’Mong shoals of sturgeon, both the large and lank.
  Her sister ladies shone in dresses brave,
And martial looked the officers, who escort gave.

Next: IV. Mêng