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

p. 65


The Mêng; narrative, with the other elements interspersed. A woman, who had formed an improper connection, now cast off, relates and bemoans her sad case.

1A simple-looking lad you seemed,
  When first you met my eye,
By most a traveling merchant deemed,
  Raw silk for cloth to buy.
But your true aim was to propose
  That I should go with you;
And through the Ch‘i I went quite free,
  Until we reached Tun-ch‘iu.
’Twas then I said, "It is not I,
  Who would the time delay;
Your go-between I have not seen,
  I must not run away.
I pray, sir, do not angry be;
  In autumn be the day."

2When autumn came, then climbed I oft
  That ruined wall, and gazed
Towards Fu-kuan, my heart all soft,
  With expectation raised. p. 66
When you came not, my hapless lot
  With streams of tears I mourned.
At last your longed-for form I saw,
  And tears to smiles were turned.
With words I strove to tell my love,
  While you averment made
That shell and seeds good answer gave
  "No more delay," I said.
"Your carriage bring; I'll go at once,
  My goods all in it laid."

3When on the mulberry tree the leaves
  All hang in glossy state,
The sight is fair. O dove, beware;
  Its fruits intoxicate.
Ah! thou, young maiden, too wilt find
  Cause for repentance deep,
If, by a lover's arts seduced,
  Thyself thou fail to keep.
A gentleman who hastes to prove
  The joys of lawless love,
For what is done may still atone;
  To thee they'll fatal prove.
Thou’lt try in vain excuse to feign,
  Lost like the foolish dove. p. 67

4When sheds its leaves the mulberry tree,
  All yellow on the ground,
And sear they lie. Such fate have I
  Through my rash conduct found.
Three years with you in poverty
  And struggles hard I've passed;
And now with carriage curtains wet,
  Through flooded Ch‘i. I haste.
I always was the same, but you
  A double mind have shown.
’Tis you, sir, base, the right transgress;
  Your conduct I have known.
Aye changing with your moods of mind,
  And reckless of my moan.

5Three years of life I was your wife,
  And labored in your house;
I early rose, late sought repose,
  And so fulfilled my vows.
I never did, one morning's space,
  My willing work suspend, p. 68
But me thus cruelly you treat,
  And from your dwelling send.
All this my brothers will not own,
  At me they'll only jeer,
And say I reap as I have sown;
  Reply they will not hear.
In heart I groan, and sad bemoan
  My fate with many a tear.

6Together were we to grow old;—
  Old now, you make me pine.
The Ch‘i aye flows within its banks,
  Its shores the lake confine.
But you know neither bank nor shore,
  Your passions ne’er denied.
Back to my happy girlhood's time,
  With hair in knot still tied,
I wildly go; I'll never know
  Its smiles and chat again.
To me you clearly swore the faith,
  Which now to break you're fain.
Could I foresee so false you'd be?
  And now regret is vain.

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