Download document

CAO, Xueqin

The cunning waste their pains;

The wise men vex their brains;

But the simpleton, who seeks no gains,

With belly full, he wanders free


If with the water’s rosy hue comparison be made,

Carmine tears and dewy flowers seem of the self-same shade.

Yet lady’s tears and flowers in this unalike I find,

That the flowers are still and smiling, but the tears flow unallayed.

As she gazes on the smiling flowers, her tears at last grow dry;

But as they dry, the springtime ends and the flowers fade.

The flowers fade, and an equal blight the lady’s fair cheek palls.

The petals drift; she is weary; and soon the darkness falls.

A nightingale is singing a dirge for the death of spring,

And moonlight steals through the casement and dapples the silent walls.