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To my daughter on her marring into the Yang family – Wei Yingwu

My heart has been heavy all day long
Because you have so far to go.
The marriage of a girl, away from her parents,
Is the launching of a little boat on a great river.
…You were very young when your mother died,
Which made me the more tender of you.
Your elder sister has looked out for you,
And now you are both crying and cannot part.
This makes my grief the harder to bear;
Yet it is right that you should go.
…Having had from childhood no mother to guide you,
How will you honour your mother-in-law?
It’s an excellent family; they will be kind to you,
They will forgive you your mistakes —
Although ours has been so pure and poor
That you can take them no great dowry.
Be gentle and respectful, as a woman should be,
Careful of word and look, observant of good example.
…After this morning we separate,
There’s no knowing for how long….
I always try to hide my feelings —
They are suddenly too much for me,
When I turn and see my younger daughter
With the tears running down her cheek.


永日方戚戚, 出行复悠悠。
女子今有行, 大江溯轻舟。
尔辈苦无恃, 抚念益慈柔;
幼为长所育, 两别泣不休。
对此结中肠, 义往难复留。
自小阙内训, 事姑贻我忧;
赖兹托令门, 仁恤庶无尤。
贫俭诚所尚, 资从岂待周!
孝恭遵妇道, 容止顺其猷。
别离在今晨, 见尔当何秋?
居闲始自遣, 临感忽难收。
归来视幼女, 零泪缘缨流。

2016-06-23

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