You’re the One That I Wish For
The weeds grow over a vast expanse and glisten with dewdrops. A beautiful lady with a pair of bright eyes is walking on a path. We happen to meet each other and that’s just what I have dreamed of.
The weeds grow over a vast expanse with big, round dewdrops on them. A beautiful lady with a pair of bright eyes is walking on a path. We happen to meet each other and both of us feel happy.”
The poem “Weeds in the Wild” appears in the Odes of Zheng chapter of the Book of Songs. It depicts a scene in the countryside, where trees and weeds are thriving and the tips of the weeds glisten with crystallike dewdrops. On a quiet, sunny morning, a beautiful lady is walking slowly past a man. Her eyes are full of tenderness and her beauty makes his heart beat faster. He stops to look at her, falls in love at first sight and wants to go with her.
About 2,500 years later, it is still possible to feel the poetic romance of ancient love when reading “Weeds in the Wild.”
The eyes are the windows to the soul and can give away all of a person’s secrets. There is a well-known verse in “Shuo Ren” in the Book of Songs, which reads, “The smile on a beautiful face is pleasing to see and beautiful eyes never fail to attract others.”
Such bewitching eyes are not only described in the Book of Songs but also in other famous works. Love in a Mask, a novella by Honoré de Balzac, is a perfect example. Elena was a young and beautiful woman who wanted to have a child but not only didn’t want to get married, she didn’t even want her child to know who his father was. Therefore, she devised a plan to meet Leon, a military officer, at a masked ball. She always wore a mask when she was with him and after becoming pregnant, she left him. However, Leon had fallen in love with her and tried to track her down. In fact, Elena could not forget her lover. They withstood the test of life and death during wartime and eventually got married.
“I want you to know that there is always a person waiting for you in this world, no matter when and where. You must be aware that there is always such a person,” Eileen Chang (1920–1995) wrote in Half a Lifelong Romance. Everyone is waiting for another person, if they can meet a pair of beautiful eyes then they can consider themselves fortunate. However, Cui Hu (AD 772–846) could only sigh, as he wrote, “I do know where she has gone and the peach blossoms still titter in the spring breeze.”
On reading “Weeds in the Wild,” one feels as if they are seeing the weeds thrive, which gives a sense of desolation and greatness. At this moment, the man hopes to not only meet a beautiful woman, but also a confidant who can understand him without him having to say too much.
When Yu Boya (413–354 BC) and Zhong Ziqi (387–299 BC) met, the two became close confidants of each other. After Zhong died of an illness, Yu smashed his guqin (a sevenstringed plucked musical instrument similar to a zither) and no longer played his instrument because he felt he would never meet anyone like Zhong again. Meeting a true friend has always been an important topic in the history of Chinese poetry.
In “Weeds in the Wild,” the man is standing alone amid a fresh mist. From the glint in his eyes, we know that “she” is what he wishes for most in this life.