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Su Dongpo: Wuqian Ladies

Wuqian Ladies

於 潜 女
青 裙 缟 袂 於 潜 女
两 足 如 霜 不 穿 屦。
觰 沙 鬓 发 丝 穿 柠
蓬 沓 障 前 走 风 雨。
老 濞 宫 妆 传 父 祖
至 今 遗 民 悲 故 主。
苕 溪 杨 柳 初 飞 絮
照 溪 画 眉 渡 溪 去。
逢 郎 樵 归 相 媚 妩
不 信 姬 姜 有 齐 鲁。
Wu Qian Nu

Qing qun gao mei wu qian nu
Liang zu ru shuang bu chuan ju.
Zha sha bin fa si chuan ning
Peng ta zhang qian zou feng yu.

Lao bi gong zhuang zhuan fu zu
Zhi jin yi min bei gu zhu.
Tiao xi yang liu chu fei xu
Zhao xi hua mei du xi qu.
Feng lang qiao gui xiang mei wu
Bu xin ji jiang you qi lu.


Wuqian Ladies

Wuqian ladies with blue skirts and white silk sleeves
Both feet without sandals, white as frost.
Hair interwoven in a bun like weaving shuttles
Bound by silver hair ties to withstand wind and rain.

Ornaments and make-up from paternal ancestors in the Wu kingdom palace
Up to current times, these survivors of an overthrown dynasty.
With sadness they remember and honor their past
Along the Tiao River, poplars and willows release their cotton-like seeds.
Looking into the small stream reflections, they groom themselves and then depart
Meeting firewood gatherers, they giggle and try to charm them
Do not believe the prettiest ladies from the Ji or Jiang states
(where daughters were married off to increase political power)
How can there be anyone prettier than these Wuqian ladies.



Wu Kingdom: Area of, and surrounding, the current province of Zhejiang from the eleventh century to 473 BC.

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