Confucius

(551– 479 ( BC) / China)

A Festal Ode Complimenting An Officer


On dashed my four steeds, without halt, without stay,
Though toilsome and winding from Chow was the way.
I wished to return--but the monarch's command
Forbade that his business be done with slack hand;
And my heart was with sadness oppressed.

On dashed my four steeds; I ne'er slackened the reins.
They snorted and panted--all white, with black manes.
I wished to return, but our sovereign's command
Forbade that his business be done with slack hand;--
And I dared not to pause or to rest.

Unresting the Filial doves speed in their flight,
Ascending, then sweeping swift down from the height,
Now grouped on the oaks. The king's high command
Forbade that his business be done with slack hand;--
And my father I left, sore distressed.

Unresting the Filial doves speed in their flight,
Now fanning the air and anon they alight
On the medlars thick grouped. But our monarch's command
Forbade that his business be done with slack hand;--
Of my mother I thought with sad breast.

My four steeds I harnessed, all white and black-maned,
Which straight on their way, fleet and emulous strained.
I wished to return; and now venture in song
The wish to express, and announce how I long
For my mother my care to attest.

Submitted: Saturday, September 18, 2010

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