The Flower-Seller

BY TSING-NIEN

Tsing Dynasty

The sun is sinking in the sky,
It scarcely reaches a flagstaff high;
And now the pretty flower-girl dares
Come out to sell her fragile wares.
Her voice rings out a message sweet,
As on she trips with lightsome feet,
To buy her musk and jessamine,
Her violets and white eglantine.
And the fresh perfumes of her flowers,
After last night's refreshing showers,
Borne on the gentle breeze soon find
An entrance through my lattice blind.
The windows of the rich and great
Are opened wide, and heads, ornate
With glossy hair and jewels bright,
Are thrust forth in the evening light
Of the setting sun, whose shadow falls
On the straight lines of brick-built walls,
By which men marked the time of day
Ere clocks and watches came their way.
And many flowers of beauteous hue,
Still sparkling with the morning dew,
Are bought by ladies rich and fair,
To deck their deep black lustrous hair.