Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, there are still two cups at my table.


Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The 300 Tang Dynasty Poems, #44: A Song of a Pure Hearted Girl

One of the worlds' literary treasures is an anthology of the greatest poems of the Tang Dynasty of China. The Tang Dynasty was a high water mark in culture in ancient China and poetry was especially esteemed. The 300 Tang Dynasty Poems may be found here. Below is poem #44: A Song of a Pure Hearted Girl.



044
Meng Jiao
A SONG OF A PURE-HEARTED GIRL

Lakka-trees ripen two by two
And mandarin-ducks die side by side.
If a true-hearted girl will love only her husband,
In a life as faithfully lived as theirs,
What troubling wave can arrive to vex
A spirit like water in a timeless well?

2 comments:

Paul said...

Beautifully translated, though the key message in the translation is quite different from the original. The original praised and glorified " women who died in defence of her honour chastity or virginity", with the objective of advocating (and therefore condemning [or even persecuting!] those who did otherwise) young women not to remarry, for the rest of their lives, after the unfortunate premature death of their husband. Needless to say, no such advice/directive was given the male in ancient China!

Rick Matz said...

I guess there are many translations of the 300 Tang Dynasty Poems. I use the one I use for this blog, because it's easily and widely available.

I really like reading different translations of the same piece side by side.