from the Book of Songs: No. 22

Of fair girls the loveliest
Was to meet me at the corner of the Wall.
But she hides and will not show herself;
I scratch my head, pace up and down.

Of fair girls the prettiest
Gave me a red flute.
The flush of that red flute
Is pleasure at the girl’s beauty.

She has been in the pastures and brought for me rush-wood,
Very beautiful and rare.
It is not you that are beautiful;
But you were given by a lovely girl.

translated by Arthur Waley

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