Gui Youguang: An Epitaph for Chillyposy ~ 归有光·《寒花葬志》 with English Translations






An Epitaph for Chillyposy

Gui Youguang

The girl was my wife Lady Wei’s maid. She died on the fourth day of the fifth lunar month in 1537, during the Chia-ching reign, and was buried on a small hill. She served us, but not to the end. Wasn’t it all destiny?

When the girl first came over at my wedding, she was only ten years old. Her hair was tied in two hanging knots, and she dragged around in a dark-green cotton skirt. One day, it was very cold. We made a fire and cooked some water chestnuts over it. The girl peeled them, filling up a small earthen pot. When I entered the room from outside, I picked up some to eat, but the girl took the pot away and would not give me any more, which set Lady Wei laughing. My wife often told her to lean at the side of our little table to eat her meal. Whenever the meal was about to be served, she would roll her eyes around slowly in her sockets, and my wife would point it out to me for a chuckle.

Looking back upon those days, I suddenly realized that ten years have passed. Alas, woe is me!

(Yang Ye 译)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *