East Slope, Eight Quatrains, No. 5


 
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Vegetable plot by Anguo Temple in Huangzhou

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蘇軾















使







East Slope, Eight Quatrains, No. 5
Su Shi 1036-1101

Good farmers do not wear out their land,
Luckily, this plot has lain fallow ten years.
The mulberry trees are not yet mature,
But I'm already looking forward to a crop of wheat.
It's less than a month since I did the sowing,
Even now the tilled soil shows some green.
An old famer came and told me,
"Don't let the sprouts get thick with leaves;
If you want ample noodles and dumplings,
Let sheep and oxen in to graze."
I bow twice in thanks for this frank advice,
When my stomach's full, I won't forget him.
 
Dōng Pō Bā Shǒu, Qí Wǔ
Sū Shì 1036-1101

Liáng nóng xī dìlì,
Xìn cǐ shí nián huāng.
Sāngshè wèijí chéng,
Yí mài shù kě wàng.
Tóu zhǒng wèi yù yuè,
Nóngfū gào wǒ yán:
Wù shǐ miáo yè chāng,
Jūn yù fù bǐng ěr,
Yào xū zòng niú yáng.
Zài bài xiè kǔ yán,
Dé bǎo bù gǎn wàng.
 
Translator: Ron Egan 艾朗諾

Notes:
From Ron Egan's definitive book on Su Shi (Su Dongpo), Word Image and Deed In The Life Of Su Shi, Harvard University Press. Used with permission. Professor Egan teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara, California.

 
 
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