A wife’s heart is like water in a well that’s old,
but when it is aroused it turns to steam
and cracks the surface of a husband who is cold,
repairing it with cooling vapors of her dream.
Inspired by a book of Chinese love poetry published by the British Museum that I saw at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana after visiting the exhibition of Qin dynasty terracotta warriors. On of the poems concluded with these lines from a poem called “The Chaste Wife” by the poet Meng Jiao (715-814) :
She will not break faith like the changeable waves.
A wife’s heart is like the water in an old well.
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