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The following poem was written by Meng Chiao in the eighth century CE. According to legend, it was written extemporanously upon request. Its structure is one of parallelism and contrast.

"Impromptu "


Keep away from sharp swords

Don't go near a lovely woman.

A sharp sword too close will wound your hand;

Woman's beauty too close will wound your life!

The danger of the road is not in the distance;

Ten yards is far enough to break a wheel.

The peril of love is not in loving too often;

A single evening can leave its wound in the soul.

 

     

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