Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Fobbing in courtship and in life

Courtship plays an important part in humanity therefore it has a place in the classics such as the Book of Changes (Yijing or Zhouyi) and the Book of Odes or Songs (Shijing). Yes, even the ancients believe in courting for a lady’s heart. For some fun and play in courtship it may include fobbing or spinning to display affection for a lover. The following poem depicts the reluctance of an enamored man leaving his lover’s arms [Shijing 26 Waley]:

The lady: The cock has crowed; it is full daylight.

The lover: It was not the cock that crowed, it was the buzzing of those green flies.

The lady: The eastern sky glows; it is broad daylight.

The lover: That is not the glow of dawn, but the rising moon’s light. The gnats fly drowsily; it would be sweet to share a dream with you.

The lady: Quick! Go home! Lest I have cause to hate you!

When it is time to go, it is time to go. So says the lady.

Spinning tales can fool people some of the time, if well spoken words are empty, beware. Indeed, sincere words are not fine and fine words are not sincere [TTC 81].

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