‘Tis ill to be so hot with passion: excess of heat will but make parting the harder.
Truly a single day apart from you is to me as a lonely void.
For all my beauty, I am not yet come safe to shore: my fate is not yet fulfilled.
Moreover, like a dry faggot propped against a bonfire, I am aflame already.
You bid me wait three years for you: but, though the tale of my years is still brief,
I fear, when I am grown to womanhood, you will not keep tryst: thus will my error date from this morning.
Henceforth in the consistory of orioles and the synod of swallows, I may freely disclose my heart’s thoughts.
I do but grieve that, since I must bear the wine-cup and hand round the goblet, my sin is not yet merciful to me.
Withal, I regret that I am frail-fated as a flower, and that men are vile.
Were I well-fated, why should I still to-day be in this haunt of vice?
I hope that one day, arrayed in academic robes, you will come home with honour.
When your debt to your books is paid, then will my flower-debt also be cancelled.
But now in the inn, lonely and cold, you are wrapped in your soul’s dream.
Ah! News of you has ceased to come.
When shall I see the good omen of the lamp-snuff?
Look you! Proud Peking is a myriad miles distant across the water.