If I were a woman of old,
What prayers I would pray for you, dear;
My pitiful tribute behold--
Not a prayer, but a tear.
The pitiless order of things,
Whose laws we may change not nor break,
Alone I could face it--it wrings
My heart for your sake.
THOU, who thy honour as thy God rever’st,
Who, save thy mind’s reproach, nought earthly fear’st,
To thee this votive offering I impart,
The tearful tribute of a broken heart.
The Friend thou valued’st, I, the Patron lov’d;
His worth, his honour, all the world approved:
We’ll mourn till we too go as he has gone,
And tread the shadowy path to that dark world unknown.
From ten thousand valleys the trees touch heaven;
On a thousand peaks cuckoos are calling;
And, after a night of mountain rain,
From each summit come hundreds of silken cascades.
If girls are asked in tribute the fibre they weave,
Or farmers quarrel over taro fields,
Preside as wisely as Wenweng did.
Is fame to be only for the ancients?
You may vow I'll not forget
To pay the debt
Which to thy memory stands as due
As faith can seal it you.
--Take then tribute of my tears;
So long as I have fears
To prompt me, I shall ever
Languish and look, but thy return see never.
Oh then to lessen my despair,
Print thy lips into(the air,
So by this
Means, I may kiss thy kiss,
Whenas some kind
Shall hither waft it:--And, in lieu,
My lips shall send a thousand back to you.