A simple-looking lad you were, Carrying cloth to exchange it for silk. [But] you came not so to purchase silk; - You came to make proposals to me. I convoyed you through the Qi, As far as Dunqiu. ' It is not I, ' [I said], ' who would protract the time; But you have had no good go-between. I pray you be not angry, And let autumn be the time. '
I ascended that ruinous wall, To look towards Fuguan; And when I saw [you] not [coming from] it; My tears flowed in streams. When I did see [you coming from] Fuquan, I laughed and I spoke. You had consulted, [you said], the tortoise-shell and the reeds, And there was nothing unfavourable in their response. ' Then come, ' [I said], ' with your carriage, And I will remove with my goods.
Before the mulberry tree has shed its leaves, How rich and glossy are they! Ah! thou dove, Eat not its fruit [to excess]. Ah! thou young lady, Seek no licentious pleasure with a gentleman. When a gentleman indulges in such pleasure, Something may still be said for him; When a lady does so, Nothing can be said for her.
When the mulberry tree sheds its leaves, They fall yellow on the ground. Since I went with you, Three years have I eaten of your poverty; And [now] the full waters of the Qi, Wet the curtains of my carriage. There has been no difference in me, But you have been double in your ways. It is you, Sir, who transgress the right, Thus changeable in your conduct.
For three years I was your wife, And thought nothing of my toil in your house. I rose early and went to sleep late, Not intermitting my labours for a morning. Thus [on my part] our contract was fulfilled, But you have behaved thus cruelly. My brothers will not know [all this], And will only laugh at me. Silently I think of it, And bemoan myself.
I was to grow old with you; - Old, you give me cause for sad repining. The Qi has its banks, And the marsh has its shores. In the pleasant time of my girlhood, with my hair simply gathered in a knot, Harmoniously we talked and laughed. Clearly were we sworn to good faith, And I did not think the engagement would be broken. That it would be broken I did not think, And now it must be all over!