Victor Hugo: Oh! I was like a crazy man in the first moment
Hugo von Hofmannsthal: My ancestors are as akin to me as my own hair

Bai Juyi: Remembering Golden Bells


Ruined and ill,—a man of two score;
Pretty and guileless,—a girl of three.
Not a boy,—but still better than nothing:
To soothe one’s feeling,—from time to time a kiss!
There came a day,—they
suddenly took her from me;
Her soul’s shadow wandered I know not where.
And when I remember how just at the time she died
She lisped strange sounds, beginning to learn to talk,
Then I know that the ties of flesh and blood
Only bind us to a load of grief and sorrow.
At last, by thinking of the time before she was born,
By thought and reason I drove the pain away.
Since my heart forgot her, many days have passed
And three times winter has changed to spring.
This morning, for a little, the old grief came back,
Because, in the road, I met her foster-nurse.

     --Bai Juyi 白居易 (772-846),  translated by Arthur Waley



Thanks to Jake Holman for the Chinese version


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