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The Book of Songs 詩經

小雅‧魚藻之什‧何草不黃 Minor odes of the kingdom - Yu Zao Zhi Shen - He Cao Bu Huang

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Every plant is yellow;
Every day we march.
Every man is moving about,
Doing service in some quarter of the kingdom.


Every plant is purple;
Every man is torn from his wife.
Alas for us employed on these expeditions!
How are we alone dealt with as if we were not men?


We are not rhinoceroses, we are not tigers,
To be kept in these desolate wilds.
Alas for us employed on these expeditions!
Morning and night we have no leisure.


The long-tailed foxes,
May keep among the dark grass.
And our box-carts,
Keep moving along the great roads.


English translation: James Legge

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