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 . Sadness

    [translation by C.E.R. Allen, 1891]

    THE sun is ever full and bright,
    The pale moon waneth night by night.
    Why should this be?

    My heart that once was full of light
    Is but a dying moon to-night.

    But when I dream of thee apart,
    I would the dawn might lift my heart,
    O sun, to thee.

    Confucius

 . Trysting Time

    [translation by C.E.R. Allen, 1891]

    I

    A PRETTY girl at time o' gloaming
    Hath whispered me to go and meet her
    Without the city gate.

    I love her, but she tarries coming.
    Shall I return, or stay and greet her?
    I burn, and wait.

    II

    Truly she charmeth all behooders,
    'Tis she hath given me this jewel,
    The jade of my delight;

    But this red jewel-jade that smoulders,
    To my desire doth add more fuel,
    New charms to-night.

    III

    She has gathered with her lily fingers
        A lily fiar and rare to see.

    Oh! sweeter still the fragrance lingers
        From the warm hand that gave it me.

    Confucius

 . The Soldier

    [translation by C.E.R. Allen, 1891]

    I CLIMBED the barren mountain,
         And my gaze swept far and wide
    For the red-lit eaves of my father's home,
         And I fancied that he sighed:
             My son has gone for a soldier,
                 For a soldier night and day;
             But my son is wise, and may yet return,
                 When the drums have died away.
    I climbed the grass-clad mountain,
         And my gaze swept far and wide
    For the rosy lights of a little room,
         Where I thought my mother sighed:
             My boy has gone for a soldier
                 He sleeps not day and night;
             But my boy is wise, and may yet return,
                 Though the dead lie far from sight.

    I climbed the topmost summit,
         And my gaze swept far and wide
    For the garden roof where my brother stood,
         And I fancied that he sighed:
             My brother serves as a soldier
                  With his comrades night and day;
             But my brother is wise, and may yet return,
                 Though the dead lie far away.

    Confucius


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