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The Book of Songs 詩經

國風‧衞‧碩人 Lessons from the states - Odes of Wei - Shuo Ren

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Large was she and tall,
In her embroidered robe, with a [plain] single garment over it:
The daughter of the marquis of Qi.
The wife of the marquis of Wei,
The sister of the heir-son of Qi
The sister-in-law of the marquis of Xing,
The viscount of Tan also her brother-in-law.


Her fingers were like the blades of the young white-grass;
Her skin was like congealed ointment;
Her neck was like the tree-grub;
Her teeth were like melon seeds;
Her forehead cicada-like; her eyebrows like [the antenne of] the silkworm moth;
What dimples, as she artfully smiled!
How lovely her eyes, with the black and white so well defined!


Large was she and tall,
When she halted in the cultivated suburbs.
Strong looked her four horses,
With the red ornaments so rich about their bits.
Thus in her carriage, with its screens of pheasant feathers,
she proceeded to our court.
Early retire, ye great officers,
And do not make the marquis fatigued!


The waters of the He, wide and deep,
Flow northwards in majestic course.
The nets are dropt into them with a plashing sound,
Among shoals of sturgeon, large and small,
While the rushes and sedges are rank about.
Splendidly adorned were her sister ladies;
Martial looked the attendant officers.


English translation: James Legge

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