THE BEAUTIFUL XI SHI
Since beauty is honored all over the Empire
How could Xi Shi remain humbly at home? —
Washing clothes at dawn by a southern lake —
And that evening a great lady in a palace of the north:
Lowly one day no different from the others
The next day exalted everyone praising her.
No more would her own hands powder her face
Or arrange on her shoulders a silken robe.
And the more the King loved her the lovelier she looked
Blinding him away from wisdom.
…Girls who had once washed silk beside her
Were kept at a distance from her chariot.
And none of the girls in her neighbours’ houses
By pursing their brows could copy her beauty.