Poem – An Inscription

Go little book,
To him who, on a lute with horns of pearl,
Sang of the white feet of the Golden Girl:
And bid him look
Into thy pages: it may hap that he
May find that golden maidens dance through thee.

Poem – To Milton

MILTON! I think thy spirit hath passed away
From these white cliffs, and high-embattled towers;
This gorgeous fiery-coloured world of ours
Seems fallen into ashes dull and grey,
And the age changed unto a mimic play
Wherein we waste our else too-crowded hours:
For all our pomp and pageantry and powers
We are but fit to delve the common clay,
Seeing this little isle on which we stand,
This England, this sea-lion of the sea,
By ignorant demagogues is held in fee,
Who love her not: Dear God! is this the land
Which bare a triple empire in her hand
When Cromwell spake the word Democracy!

Poem – The Master Said

The Master said,
‘It is by the Odes that the mind is aroused.’
It is by the Rules of Propriety that the character is established.
‘It is from Music that the finish is received.’
The Master said,
‘The people may be made to follow a path of action,
but they may not be made to understand it.

Poem – The King Goes To War

The wild geese fly the bushy oaks around,
With clamor loud. Suh-suh their wings resound,
As for their feet poor resting-place is found.
The King’s affairs admit of no delay.
Our millet still unsown, we haste away.
No food is left our parents to supply;
When we are gone, on whom can they rely?
O azure Heaven, that shinest there afar,
When shall our homes receive us from the war?

The wild geese on the bushy jujube-trees
Attempt to settle and are ill at ease;–
Suh-suh their wings go flapping in the breeze.
The King’s affairs admit of no delay;
Our millet still unsown, we haste away.
How shall our parents their requirements get?
How in our absence shall their wants be met?
O azure Heaven, that shinest there afar,
When shall our homes receive us from the war?

The bushy mulberry-trees the geese in rows
Seek eager and to rest around them close–
With rustling loud, as disappointment grows.
The King’s affairs admit of no delay;
To plant our rice and maize we cannot stay.
How shall our parents find their wonted food?
When we are gone, who will to them be good?
O azure Heaven, that shinest there afar,
When shall our homes receive us from the war?

Poem – Lament For Three Brothers

They flit about, the yellow birds,
And rest upon the jujubes find.
Who buried were in duke Muh’s grave,
Alive to awful death consigned?

‘Mong brothers three, who met that fate,
‘Twas sad the first, Yen-seih to see.
He stood alone; a hundred men
Could show no other such as he.
When to the yawning grave he came,
Terror unnerved and shook his frame.

Why thus destroy our noblest men,
To thee we cry, O azure Heaven!
To save Yen-seih from death, we would
A hundred lives have freely given.

They flit about, the yellow birds,
And on the mulberry-trees rest find.
Who buried were in duke Muh’s grave,
Alive to awful death consigned?

‘Mong brothers three, who met that fate,
‘Twas sad the next, Chung-hang to see.
When on him pressed a hundred men,
A match for all of them was he.
When to the yawning grave he came,
Terror unnerved and shook his frame.

Why thus destroy our noblest men,
To thee we cry, O azure Heaven!
To save Chung-hang from death, we would
A hundred lives have freely given.

They flit about, the yellow birds,
And rest upon the thorn-trees find.
Who buried were in duke Muh’s grave,
Alive to awful death consigned?

‘Mong brothers three, who met that fate,
‘Twas sad the third, K’een-foo, to see.
A hundred men in desperate fight
Successfully withstand could he.
When to the yawning grave he came,
Terror unnerved and shook his frame.

Why thus destroy our noblest men,
To thee we cry, O azure Heaven!
To save K’een-foo from death, we would
A hundred lives have freely given.

Poem – The Generous Nephew

I escorted my uncle to Tsin,
Till the Wei we crossed on the way.
Then I gave as I left
For his carriage a gift
Four steeds, and each steed was a bay.

I escorted my uncle to Tsin,
And I thought of him much in my heart.
Pendent stones, and with them
Of fine jasper a gem,
I gave, and then saw him depart.