Tzu Yeh (a Chinese poetess of the Chin Dynasty)
five short poems translated by Arthur Waley
I will carry my coat and not put on my belt;
With unpainted eyebrows I will stand at the front window.
My tiresome petticoat keeps on flapping about;
If it opens a little, I shall blame the spring wind.
I heard my love was going to Yang-chou
And went with him as far as Ch’u-shan.
For a moment when you held me fast in your outstretched arms
I thought the river stood still and did not flow.
Longing, I watch out the open window,
my sash untied, long sleeves dragging.
This breeze lifts gauze so easily,
if my skirt should open, blame the warm spring wind.
Winter skies are cold and low,
with harsh winds and freezing sleet.
But when we make love beneath our quilt,
we make three summer months of heat.
When she approached you on the street,
you couldn't possibly say no.
But your neglect of me is nothing new.
Hinges soon sag on an empty door:
it won't fit snug like it did before.