The task of mankind
The task of mankind is cruel; never can we smooth care from our brows.
What though I deal trueheartedly by you, you are not yet aware thereof.
For your sake I weep and sigh the livelong day.
Think you I have the heart to play the woman on this wise?
You bid me deal by all men with heart as true as mine to thine; but that is not so easy.
Only when I see my lord! Then I am loth to waste the auspicious hour.
Say not the Pearl River is a place utterly void of passion;
Today for sake of the word ‘passion’ I am tied in trammels; therefore am I thus enamoured.
Why, whene’er you open your lips, do you flout us with your fickleness?
Strange that, for the most part, in intercourse with us your face meets ours, but your spirit is fled elsewhere.
If now you will remember your handmaid, your handmaiden will remember you.
Ah! ‘tis ill to breathe such disdain for us.
You should be constant from first to last.
Wait till in the cluster of flowers and rouge you come to understand girls such as we.