Satire on Fair Ladies
The weather’s fine in the third moon on the third day,
By riverside so many beauties in array.
Each of the ladies has a fascinating face,
Their skin is delicate, their manner full of grace.
Embroidered with peacocks and unicorns in gold,
Their dress in rich silks shines so bright when spring is old.
What do they wear on the head?
Emerald pendant leaves hang down in silver thread.
What do you see from behind?
How nice-fitting are their waistbands with peals combined.
Among them there’re the emperor’s favorite kin,
Ennobled Duchess of Guo comes with Duchess of Qin.
What do they eat?
The purple meat
Of camel’s hump cooked in green cauldron as a dish;
On crystal plate is served snow-white slices of raw fish.
See rhino chopsticks the satiated eaters stay,
And untouched morsels carved by belled knives on the tray.
When eunuchs’ horses come running, no dust is raised;
They bring still more rare dishes delicious to the taste.
Listen to soul-stirring music of flutes and drums!
On the main road an official retinue comes.
A rider ambles on saddled horse, the last of all,
He alights, treads on satin carpet, enters the hall.
The willow down like snow falls on the duckweed white;
The blue bird picking red handkerchief goes in flight.
The prime minister’s powerful without a peer.
His angry touch would burn your hand. Do not come near!