Away goes the butterfly
To catch it I will never try;
The butterfly's about to 'light,
I would not have it if I might.
Here's a literal translation I came up with (I welcome help fine-tuning it):
The Butterfly Flies
The butterfly flies,
I don't chase it
The butterfly lands
I don't catch it.*
*Literally: I don't want it.
The first English translation comes directly from Headland's book of Chinese Mother Goose rhymes. The translation is loose (it was done to sound like an English Mother Goose rhyme and was made to rhyme). The other translations are more literal.
Thanks and Acknowledgements
This rhyme and the English translation above are from the book, Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes, by Isaac Taylor Headland of Peking University (copyright 1900).
Many thanks to Yuan Ping for typing this rhyme in Chinese text for us.
M goi! & Xie xie!