Why, here’s the rub? I fear that my companionship with you will not abide till old age comes.
Since, then, our passion is sincere, ‘tis pity it should lack utterly love’s consummation.
In this life have I knit with you the knot of wedded fate: but our union is delayed till the life to come;
Hence you are now an anchorite, and I a nun.
You doubt? Then behold! In the “Red Chamber Dream” a story of teal is told.
Since the youth Po-yuk’s fate was not wed with hers, therefore was Toi-yuk so lonely.
Thus, when she came to die, she cried with sobbing utterance: — “Po-yuk, thou art good!”
Truly I find no vent for my grief.
Heaven can scarce heal the sorrow of parting.
Yes! I were better seem insipid as water in my manner, lest you should scold me for a fickle jade.
Ay, here’s the rub! My lord, your family is poor and your parents so aged,
That, of eight thousand paths before you, not one can bring renown.
Therefore you jilt and leave me fallen at heaven’s verge, where no letter reaches me from home.
My lord is returned to Nam-leng, I live sorrily in the capital.
Be you bright as a long sword, still your brilliance has not yet left its sheath;
Howbeit the young bamboo, now leafless, may one day pierce the skies in height.
But if you fail of your degree, your face will fade colourless –
The green willow injures men more grievously than a sharp sword.
The gold stored ‘neath my pillow is all spent: I am loth to brew the sparking mead.
Naught had I send you,
Save that my pearl tears are threaded together as a rosary;
My lord! Upon your homeward way, will you not bear them with you for my sake?