A Man’s Praise to his Wife by Confucius

My path forth from the east gate lay,
Where cloud-like moved the girls at play.
Numerous are they, as clouds so bright,
But not on them my heart’s thoughts light.
Dressed in a thin white silk, with coiffure gray
Is she, my wife, my joy in life’s low way.

Forth by the covering wall’s high tower,
I went, and saw, like rush in flower,
Each flaunting girl. Brilliant are they,
But not with them my heart’s thoughts stay.
In thin white silk, with head-dress madder-dyed,
Is she, my sole delight, ‘foretime my bride.

Poet: Confucius
Born: 28 September 551 BCE, Lu, China
Died: 11 April 479 BCE, Lu, China

Confucius was a philosopher and politician of the Chinese Spring and Autumn period. His philosophy, known as Confucianism, placed emphasis on personal and governmental morality, social correctness, justice and sincerity. His followers contested with many other schools during the Hundred Schools of Thought era only to be suppressed in favour of the Legalists during the Qin dynasty. After the victory of Han over Chu following the collapse of Qin, Confucius’ thoughts received official sanction and were further developed into the system known as Neo-Confucianism in the West, and later Modern Neo-Confucianism. Confucius’ principles have common ties with Chinese tradition and beliefs. He promoted family loyalty, veneration of the ancestors and respect of the elders. He is considered as one of the most important influences in shaping human history and his philosophies and teachings remain influential today.

Confucius died aged 71 of natural causes and was buried in the Cemetery of Confucius, Qufu, Shandong Province, China.


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