Remembering Golden Bells
Ruined and ill—a man of two score;
Pretty and guileless—a girl of three.
Not a boy—but still better than nothing:
To soothe one’s feeling—from time to time a kiss!
There came a day—they suddenly took her from me;
Her soul’s shadow wandered I know not where.
And when I remember how just at the time she died
She lisped strange sounds, beginning to learn to talk,
Then I know that the ties of flesh and blood
Only bind us to a load of grief and sorrow.
At last, by thinking of the time before she was born,
By thought and reason I drove the pain away.
Since my heart forgot her, many days have passed
And three times winter has changed to spring.
This morning, for a little, the old grief came back,
Because, in the road, I met her foster-nurse.
--Bai Juyi (772-846)
Translated by Arthur Waley《念金鑾子》白居易
今日一傷心，因逢舊乳母。 Children Playing on a Winter Day, detail (Song Dynasty), National Palace Museum, Taiwan
Edited by Jake Holman, 08 July 2007 - 10:35 AM.