• 《心》 My heart
My heart is but one. How can I give it to so many men?
Would that every man, seeing me, might come to hate me!
Then, even should I think of wantonness, it could not be my lot;
For, though I were in love, I’d have no way of planting passion’s seed.
I grieve, I do but grieve, that I know not why I cannot make men hate me;
Wherefore men bear me such a grudge.
Whoso holds commerce with me, he loves me to death,
Yet wrongs me in making my whole body a flower-debt; I would fain ask my lover,
Whether it be possible that Po-yuk was once incarnate in my body?
Ah! Passion’s seed (I say) must have a root, e’er it can be firmly planted.
Should I not be destined to marry, then, if infatuate with love, I shall but injure my bruised life.
You doubt? Then see how my eyes are more full of tears than were those of the maiden Lam Toi-yuk, who from girlhood so doted on Po-yuk.
Truly ‘tis irksome.
For, though you were constant to death, yet the hot flush of love lasts but a moment.
She paid in full her debt of tears, but even in death she did not meet her lover.
• 《辯癡》 A study of delirium
I find it hard to study delirious passion.
When passion grows delirious, who is there that can awake therefrom?
In the world love’s maladies are past counting.
But whoso, having vernal love in the heart, dares not disclose its presence,
If shyly silent in the face of his darling, how can he net the marriage skein?
Truly no bitterness exceeds his, who, having a mouth, finds it hard to speak.
In fine his mood is that of a young boy or girl;
His heart is uncertain;
Therefore he finds it so hard to compass the close of so many adversities.
• 《訢恨》 A tale of woe
Secretly I sigh: who knows of my woe?
From the time when we parted onwards, no day has brought me home a letter.
This present heartache is all because of you, my lord.
You teach your handmaid’s soul to wanton all night long in dreams.
Ah! I think it needs must be that in a former life I did not mend my ways; therefore to-day contempt is my lot.
‘Tis destined that rosy girls mush be thus desolate and sad; I know not till when the sadness will endure.
You flout me, till I turn away from men that unseen I may wipe the tears from off my cheek.
I fear lest traces of grief should betray my love for you;
Yet have I no means to rid me of that one word ‘sorrow’.
Ah! Truly it savours ill.
O Heaven! Methinks thou shouldst wean us, thy children, from all partings.