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Zhang Hanbian
(between 265 & 420) China

Zhang Hanbian



The Jin-dynasty poet Zhang Hanbian wrote an early poem praising male love, a tribute to the actor Zhou Xiaoshi, that described the boy's charms in glowing terms:

The actor Zhou elegantly wander,
      the youthful boy is young and delicate,
      fifteen years old.
Like the eastern sun,
      fragrant skin, vermillion cosmetics,
      simple disposition mixes with notoriety.
Your head turns - I kiss you,
      lotus and hibiscus.

Your appearance is already pure,
      your clothing is new.
The chariot follows the wind,
      flying after fog and current of mist.

Inclined toward extravagance and festiveness,
      gazing around at the leisurely and beautiful.
A pleasant expression delights in laughter,
      a handsome mouth delights in talking.

Zhang's beloved Zhou Xiaoshi was in fact a male prostitute, like many young actors. The poem specifies his age as fifteen.


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