The Poetical Quotidian
A BALLAD OF THE MULBERRY ROAD
anonymous (Han Dynasty, 1st century)
excerpt translated by Ezra Pound
The sun rises in south east corner of things
To look on the tall house of the Shin
For they have a daughter named Rafu,
She made the name for herself: "Gauze Veil,"
For she feeds mulberries to silkworms.
She gets them by the south wall of the town.
With green strings she makes the warp of her basket,
She makes the shoulder-straps of her basket
from the boughs of Katsura,
And she piles her hair up on the left side of her head-piece.
Her earrings are made of pearl,
Her underskirt is of green pattern-silk,
Her overskirt is the same silk dyed in purple,
And when the men going by look on Rafu
They set down their burdens,
They stand and twirl their moustaches.
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