Kuan, the wife of the great Yuan painter Chao Mengfu, wrote this upon hearing her husband was to take a mistress.
By Madame Kuan, translated by Bruce Lee (yes him!)
Who knows when meeting shall ever be.
If might be for years or
It might be forever.
Let us then take a lump of clay,
Wet it, pat it,
And make an image of you
And an image of me.
Then smash them, crash them,
And, with a little water,
Knead them together.
And out of the clay we’ll remake
An image of you, and an image of me.
Thus in my clay, there’s a little of you,
And in your clay, there’s a little of me.
And nothing will ever set us apart.
Living, we’ll be forever in each other’s heart,
and dead, we’ll be buried together.
Chao Mengfu didn’t take the mistress.