Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
On Finding a Hairpin in a Disused Well
By Arthur Waley, trans.
 
From “Chinese Poems”

T’ang Seng-ch’i—Sixth Century

ONCE a girl was gathering flowers,
Gathering flowers at the well-side.
The flowers she plucked she put in her hair
And she looked at herself in the well-water.
Long she looked and couldn’t stop,        5
Laughing and laughing at her own beauty,
Till one of her golden pins fell out
And there in the well it has lain ever since.
Its peacock-feathers are turned to mud,
But the golden shaft is as bright as new.        10
The person who wore it is dead and gone;
What was the use of the thing lasting?
 
 
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