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T`ung Han-ching 


Circa A.D. 800

The Celestial Weaver

A thing of stone beside Lake Kouen-ming Has for a thousand autumns borne the name Of the Celestial Weaver. Like that star She shines above the waters, wondering At her pale loveliness. Unnumbered waves Have broidered with green moss the marble folds About her feet. Toiling eternally They knock the stone, like tireless shuttles plied Upon a sounding loom. Her pearly locks Resemble snow-coils on the mountain top; Her eyebrows arch -- the crescent moon. A smile Lies in the opened lily of her face; And, since she breathes not, being stone, the birds Light on her shoulders, flutter without fear At her still breast. Immovable she stands Before the shining mirror of her charms And, gazing on their beauty, lets the years Slip into centuries past her. . . .

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