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


The Ko Shêng; allusive and narrative. A wife mourns the death of her husband, refusing to be comforted, and will cherish his memory till her own death.

1The dolichos over the thorn tree grows;
Its shoots o’er the waste the convolvulus throws:—
  Thus finds its proper aid each plant.
He whom I loved, my husband, from me gone,
I sadly mourn my lot, and dwell alone,
  Doomed thus my heart's support to want.

2The dolichos twines round the jujube tree;
The tombs with convolvulus covered we see:—
  Each plant thrives in its proper place
He whom I loved, the husband of my heart,
Is here no more, and I remain apart,
  Nor can my life's strength now embrace. p. 137

3Bright in our room was the pillow of horn,
And coverlet broidered the couch to adorn,
  When first in one was blent our fate.
The husband of my heart, whom I admired,
Is here no more, and I must live retired,
  And for each morning lonely wait.

4Each day a day of the long summer light,
Each night as long as the dark winter night;—
  Shall I in solitude here pine.
A hundred years will seem their course to run
Ere of this mortal life the time is done,
  And him within the tomb I join.

5Each night as long as the dark winter night,
Each day a day of the long summer light;—
  To me no comfort e’er will come.
My life will seem to last a hundred years,
Till in my death its welcome close appears,
  And to his chamber I go home.

Next: XII. Ts‘ai Ling