Lament of Hsi-Chün by Hsi-Chün

My people have married me
In a far corner of Earth:
Sent me away to a strange land,
To the king of the Wu-sun.
A tent is my house,
Of felt are my walls;
Raw flesh my food
With mare’s milk to drink.
Always thinking of my own country,
My heart sad within.
Would I were a yellow stork
And could fly to my old home!

From: Waley, Arthur (ed. and transl.), A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems, 1918, Constable and Company: London, p. 53.

Date: c110 BCE

By: Hsi-Chün (fl. c110 BCE)

Translated by: Arthur David Waley (1889-1966)


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