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The beautiful Xi Shi – Wang Wei

Since beauty is honoured all over the Empire,
How could Xi Shi remain humbly at home? —
Washing clothes at dawn by a southern lake —
And that evening a great lady in a palace of the north:
Lowly one day, no different from the others,
The next day exalted, everyone praising her.
No more would her own hands powder her face
Or arrange on her shoulders a silken robe.
And the more the King loved her, the lovelier she looked,
Blinding him away from wisdom.
…Girls who had once washed silk beside her
Were kept at a distance from her chariot.
And none of the girls in her neighbours’ houses
By pursing their brows could copy her beauty.

艳色天下重, 西施宁久微?
朝为越溪女, 暮作吴宫妃。
贱日岂殊众? 贵来方悟稀。
邀人傅脂粉, 不自著罗衣,
君宠益娇态, 君怜无是非。
当时浣纱伴, 莫得同车归。
持谢邻家子, 效颦安可希?


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