游子吟 Yóu Zǐ Yín (Poem of a Wanderer) by Mèng Jiāo (孟郊) (751—814)
Cí mǔ shǒu zhōng xiàn, yóu zǐ shēn shang yī.
My loving mother stretches a needle and thread in her hand.
She is making clothes for her departing son.
Lín xíng mì mi fèng, yì kǒng chí chí guī.
Stitch by stitch, she sews them very tightly,
Fearing that her son will not be back for a long time.
Shuí yán cùn cǎo xīn, bào dé sān chūn huī.
How could the grateful humble inch-tall grass
Ever repay the nurturing Spring Sun.
Mèng Jiāo (孟郊)(751—814) also known as Mèng Dōng Yě (孟東野) was a scholar and a poet. He was a native of Hú Hōu (湖州) (now Zhè Jiāng 浙江). Mèng suffered from lots of hardship and he did not succeed in his imperial Chin-shih examination (登進士第) until the late age of 46 and been a small official.
Little young grass grows toward the warm spring sunlight. Mother’s love is like the Spring Sun, warm and comfortable but not violently hot. Nothing can repay the love of our mothers. The 42 words poem does not contain the word ‘tears’ but it is deeply moving. It conveys strong emotions.
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