Dream of the red chamber

“Vain in my eyes the tears collect; those tears in vain they flow, Which I in secret shed; they slowly drop; but for whom though? The silk kerchiefs, which he so kindly troubled to give me, How ever could they not with anguish and distress fill me? The second ran thus: Like falling pearls or rolling gems, they trickle on the sly. Daily I have no heart for aught; listless all day am I. As on my pillow or sleeves’ edge I may not wipe them dry, I let them dot by dot, and drop by drop to run freely. And the third: The coloured thread cannot contain the pearls cov’ring my face. Tears were of old at Hsiang Chiang shed, but faint has waxed each trace. Outside my window thousands of bamboos, lo, also grow, But whether they be stained with tears or not, I do not know.” (from “The Dream of the Red Chamber (Centaur Classics) [The 100 greatest novels of all time – #56]” by Cao Xueqin, Centaur Classics)

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