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Shijing (The Book of Songs) (3)

 

CHASING THE PHANTOM
from Qinfeng

When reed and rush grew green, grew green,
And dews to hoar-frost changed,
One whom they speak of as "that man"
Somewhere the river ranged.
Upstream they went in quest of him,
A long and toilsome way;
Downstream they went in quest of him;--
In mid-stream there lay!When reed and rush grew tall, grew tall,
And dews lay yet undried,
He whom they speak of as "that man"
Was by the riverside.
Upstream they searched for him, along
The toilsome, deep defile;
Downstream again-and there he lay,
Midway, upon the isle!

When reed and rush were cut and gone,
And dews still lingered dank,
He whom they speak of as "that man"
Was on the river's bank.
Upstream they searched for him, along
The toilsome right-hand road;
Downstream, --and on the island there,
In mid-stream, he abode!

[NOTES]

This is a pome about how one fails to reach the person he/she is in love with.

Qinfeng: (The Oldes of Qin) Qin,an ancient state of the Zhou Dynasty,was in the east of present-day Qishan County in Shaanxi Province.

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