The Nymph Of The River Luo (Luo Shen)

(Luo Shen)
2003-6-5 13:35:43      CRIENGLISH.com

Luo Shen is mythical figure of ancient China. She became popularly known because of a poem, Ode to the Nymph of the River Luo (Luo Shen Fu), composed by Cao Zhi of the Three Kingdom period.

It is said that she was Mifei, the daughter of Emperor Fuxi of prehistorical legends, and became a nymph after she drowned in the Luo River. (This river flows through Shaanxi and Henan provinces and the tourist town of Luoyang.).

A goddess of peerless beauty, she is, in the words of Cao Zhi's poem, as "elegant as a startled swan and supple as a swimming dragon." Light of carriage and attractive in appearance, she looks from a distance like the red sun carried up by the morning glow and, from nearby, like the lotus freshly borne out by the clear waters. She is of medium stature, between plump and thin, slender of shoulders and waist, fair and clear of complexion. Her tresses are coiffured like clouds over a pair of long, graceful brows. She has white teeth inside a pair of crimson lips, With eyes limpid as autumn waters, her face carries a faint smile vaguely suggested by her dimples. Refined in bearing, she is gentle and tender. Attired in a gorgeous costume and swaying skirt of silk gauze, she is crowned with a gold coronet set off by jade ornaments, radiating magnificence and fragrance. On an excursion outside her palace gates she is flanked by colourful banners and fluttering standards and followed by a cortege of graceful ladies in-waiting, she rides in a cloud-borne chariot drawn by a team of six dragons, with sea birds hovering about in escort.

She seem to be going ahead, or is it that she has stopped and wants to turn back? She appears about to say something but has not yet uttered a word. Looking around, she is full of a subtle longing and affection.

A personality unparalleled on earth or in heaven, she is as tantalizing as affection.

It is in an effort to catch this grace, this subtle, exquisite quality that artists have used her as a source of inspiration for paintings, shell carving pictures, inlaid or carved screens. Their masterly execution generally succeeds in winning appreciation.

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