This is a translation of the preface to the text 野百合花 (‘Wild Lillies’), written by the Chinese writer 王實味 (‘Wang Shiwei’) in 1942 in Yan’an.
Preface · Part 1 →, by Wang Shiwei”)
野百合花 Wild Lillies
在河邊獨步時，一位同志腳上的舊式棉鞋，使我又想起了曾穿過這種棉鞋的李芬同志—— When walking alone by the riverside, the old cotton shoes on the feet of a comrade made me think of Comrade Li Fen who also wore that kind of cotton shoe -
我所最敬愛的生平第一個朋友。 - the first friend that I loved and respected the most in my whole life.
想起她，心臟照例震動一下。 When I think of her, my heart usually jumps.
照例我覺到血液循環得更加有力。 Usually I can sense that my blood flows more forcefully.
李芬同志是北大1926年級文預科學生，同年入黨，1928年春犧牲於她底故鄉—— 湖南寶慶。 Comrade Li Fen was in the 1926 preparatory literature class at Beijing University, and in the same year joined the party, and in 1928 sacrificed herself in her home county - Baoqing in Hunan.
她底死不是由於被捕，而是被她底親舅父親送給當地駐軍的。 Her death wasn't due to capture, but due to her own uncle sending her to the local garrison.
這說明舊中國底代表者是如何殘忍。 This shows how cruel the representatives of old China were.
同時，在赴死之前，她曾把所有的三套襯衣褲都穿在身上，用針線上下密密縫在一起，因為當時寶慶青年女共產黨員被捕槍決後， 常由軍隊縱使流氓去姦屍！ At that time, before she died, she put on all of her three sets of shirts and trousers, and used needle and thread to sew the two parts closely together, because at that time, after female Communist Party members in Baoqing had been captured and shot, the thugs would often defile the bodies!
這又說明著舊中國是怎樣一個血腥、醜惡、骯髒、黑暗的社會！ This also shows how the old China was a bloody, repulsive, filthy and dark society!
從聽到她底噩耗時起，我底血管便一直燃燒著最猛烈的熱愛與毒恨。 From when I heard about her death, my veins have burnt more fiercely than ever with love and poisonous hate.
每一想到她，我眼前遍浮出她那聖潔的女殉道者底影子，穿著三套密密縫在一起的襯衣褲，由自己的親舅父送去從容就義！ Whenever I think of her, the image of that pure and holy female martyr floats before my eyes, wearing her three sets of tightly sewed shirts and trousers, dying because her own uncle calmly sent her to it!
每一想到她，我便心臟震動，血液循環得更加有力！ Every time I think of her, my heart jumps, and my blood flows more forcefully!
（在這歌轉玉堂春，舞回金蓮步的昇平氣象中，提到這樣的故事，似乎不太和諧，但當前的現實——請閉上眼睛想一想罷，每一分鐘都有我們親愛的同志在血泊中倒下——似乎與這氣象也不太和諧！ ） (In this hall of song [?], in an atmosphere of dancing the Golden Lotus [?], mentioning this story seems like a little discordant, but in the present reality... Please close your eyes and just think, every minute our beloved comrades are falling down in pools of blood - like this atmosphere, it is also quite discordant!)
為了民族的利益，我們並不願意再算階級仇恨的舊帳。 For the benefit of the people, we certainly do not want to see through the old cover of hateful class distinctions again.
我們是真正大公無私的。 We are truly working for the common good without selfish interest.
我們甚至盡一切力量拖曳著舊中國底代表者同我們一路走向光明。 We even use all of our strength to drag representatives of the old China on to a brighter path.
可是，在拖曳的過程中，舊中國底骯髒污穢也就沾染了我們自己，散步細菌，傳染疾病。 However, in the process of dragging them, the filth of the old China has also polluted us, spreading bacteria and contagious diseases.
我曾不止十次二十次地從李芬同志底影子汲取力量，生活的力量和戰鬥的力量。 I have incessantly, ten or twenty times, taken strength, living strength and fighting strength, from the image of Comrade Li Fen.
這次偶然想到她，使我決心寫一些雜文。 When I happened to think of her this time, it made me determined to write some essays.
野百合花就是它們底總標題。 'Wild Lilies' is their overall title.
這有兩方面的含義：第一，這種花是延安山野間最美麗的野花，用以獻給那聖潔的影子； This has two meanings: One, this kind of flower is the most beautiful wild flower in the fields in the Yan'an hills, thus conveying a pure and holy image.
其次，據說這花與一般百合花同樣有著鱗狀球莖，吃起來雖略帶苦澀，不似一般百合花那樣香甜可口，但卻有更大的藥用價值——未知確否。 The second: it is said said this flower has scaly stems like the common lily, and although they are quite bitter to taste, and are not sweetly palatable like common lilies, they do however have greater medicinal value - I don not know the truth of this.