Knoo-shee was a beautiful young women, who lived with her father in a Grand Palace.
Knoo-shee fell in love with her father's secretary, Chang. But her parents were not happy about her love for him and told her that she would have to marry a more ‘suitable’ man (eg more wealthy). Knoo-she did not want to marry anybody but Chang and refused to leave him. Her father got extremely angry with her and to keep her away from her ‘lover’ he locked her in a tower (which you can see in the trees just to the left of the temple.).
From here she went on to send a message to Chang, 'Gather thy blossom, ere it be stolen.'. After receiving the letter Chang ran to the orchard where he met Knoo-she and rescued her.
They ran away together over the bridge. Knoo-she carrying a distaff (a tool used in spinning), Chang carrying her jewelry box, and the father chasing them from behind carrying a whip. In some designs you can also see the man Knoo-she was meant to be marrying, the discarded lover.
When they reach the other side of the bridge they escape by boarding a Chinese ship sailing past. They find refuge in a little wooden house and a strange island and settle down together. Thinking that they had escaped their fears and worries.
But the father and discarded suitor tracked them and set fire to the house while they were sleeping; and so the lovers perished.
Next morning, from the ashes rose their spirits, in the forms of two doves. And so we see them with out-stretched wings flying off to the realms of eternal happiness.
Two birds flying high, A Chinese vessel, sailing by. A bridge with three men, sometimes four, A willow tree, hanging o'er. A Chinese temple, there it stands, Built upon the river sands. An apple tree, with apples on, A crooked fence to end my song.
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