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The Book of Songs 詩經

國風‧邶‧柏舟 Lessons from the states - Odes of Bei - Bo Zhou

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It floats about, that boat of cypress wood;
Yea, it floats about on the current.
Disturbed am I and sleepless,
As if suffering from a painful wound.
It is not because I have no wine,
And that I might not wander and saunder about.


My mind is not a mirror; -
It cannot [equally] receive [all impressions].
I, indeed, have brothers,
But I cannot depend on them,
I meet with their anger.


My mind is not a stone; -
It cannot be rolled about.
My mind is not a mat; -
It cannot be rolled up.
My deportment has been dignified and good,
With nothing wrong which can be pointed out.


My anxious heart is full of trouble;
I am hated by the herd of mean creatures;
I meet with many distresses;
I receive insults not a few.
Silently I think of my case,
And, starting as from sleep, I beat my breast.


There are the sun and moon, -
How is it that the former has become small, and not the latter?
The sorrow cleaves to my heart,
Like an unwashed dress.
Silently I think of my case,
But I cannot spread my wings and fly away.

< 詩經國風



English translation: James Legge

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