Away goes the butterfly

Something else from “Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes” with old Chinese nursery rhymes and songs. I’ve transcribed a small sample below and added vocabulary. If you want to download it, probably the B/W pdf version is your best choice.
(Also, be warned that some of the illustrations are a bit… disconcerting. Some of the texts too, come to think of it, but that shouldn’t be a surprise with old nursery rhymes. No way to anticipate the nightmarish collage of baby pictures in the front though, so I thought it only far to warn you.)

CMG The Butterfly

蝴蝶不追 / 蝴蝶落不要 (Traditional)
蝴蝶不追 / 蝴蝶落不要 (Simplified)
húdié fēi wǒ bù zhuī / húdié luò wǒ bù yào
hu2die2 fei1 wo3 bu4 zhui1 / hu2die2 luo4 wo4 bu4 yao4

The Butterfly

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.

Trad. Simp. Pīnyīn Pin1yin1 English
蝴蝶 蝴蝶 húdié hu2die2 butterfly
fēi fei2 to fly
wo3 I, me
bu4 not
zhuī zhui1 chase after
luò [lào?] luo4 [lao4?] to alight (⇒ yabla)
yào yao4 to want (⇒ yabla)

Note: The two characters making up the word butterfly (蝴蝶) both have the 虫 radical (#142 insect). Within 追 the radical is  ⻌ (#162 “walk”).

CMG Cover

Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes. Tr. and illustrated by Isaac Taylor Headland. Published 1900 by Fleming H. Revell company in New York, Chicago [etc.] . (A) (B)


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