This ancient song is the first listed in the Shijing(詩經), the collection of 300 Chinese songs dating back from as far as 1,000 BC. This particular song was highly praised by Confucius as the pinnacle of musical achievement. Content warning: Some people think it’s about, well, sex!

關關雎鳩 在河之洲 窈窕淑女 君子好逑

The honking osprey rests upon
The islands of the River great;
The lady of good bearing is
The man of virtue’s perfect mate.

參差荇菜 左右流之 窈窕淑女 寤寐求之

Wand’ring among the jagged fringe
Of water lilies wet and slick,
Through waking day and sleepless nights
The lady perfect do I seek.

求之不得 寤寐思服 悠哉悠哉 輾轉反側

I seek but do not gain her yet
And think upon her day and night;
How long the night, how deep I long!
I toss and turn until it’s light.

參差荇菜 左右采之 窈窕淑女 琴瑟友之

Digging among the jagged fringe
Of water lilies slick and wet;
The lady of good bearing gives
In happy union music sweet.

參差荇菜 左右芼之 窈窕淑女 鐘鼓樂之

Plucking among the jagged fringe
Of water lilies slick and wet;
The lady of good bearing joins
In joyous union’s rhythmic beat.