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“Mianquan” 眠犬 (Sleeping Dog) by Jin Tingbiao 金廷標 Pt. 3

Album leaf “Mianquan” 眠犬 (sleeping dog) by Jin Tingbiao 金廷標 (d. 1767)

Picture credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei

散眠時掉尾婆, As sporadic sleep cuts off from time to time, its tail twitches.

解拂金鈴作態。 Untying and rubbing the bell, [it] takes many poses.

若寫烏圓花底卧, Like a painted ebony ball lying beneath flowers,[2]

未應綵筆讓何[1] But without coloured brushes: who is to be blamed for what?

臣董邦達 By [your] subject Dong Bangda

慣尋凉影畫婆, Looking for cool shade as always: a languid picture.

爨下聞呼睡已。 Down from the stove come snores: a long sleep already.

竟夜紡聲書韻徹, A night filled with the sound of spinning and the chanting of books.

家無長物更誰。 With nothing precious in the house, which [burglar] would care?

臣觀保 By [your] subject Guanbao

金鈴不動自婆, The golden bell not moving, it’s self-contented,

繪得衡茅樂意。 As if in a thatched house where joy is abundant.

明月黃花人影静, Bright moon and yellow flowers, shadows of men at rest.

太平深巷吠誰。 In a peaceful backstreet, whom could it bark at?

臣王際華 By [your] subject Wang Jihua

令令息處影娑, Where [it] cosily rests, shade flutters.

自是昇平樂育。 In this peaceful world, joy is certainly abundant.

桴鼓無驚村巷静, Silent alarm drums and tranquil village alleys,

問渠不睡待如。 Tell me what it can do but sleep?

臣裘曰修 By [your] subject Qiu Yuexiu

[1] Red chracters rhyme. Note that the rhyming characters are the same as the emperor’s poems ( to which the subjects responded.

[2] Wuyuan 烏圓 is a metaphor for cats. In Chinese painting, it's not uncommon to find cat(s) playing next to flowers. Also, this line recalls the traditional cat-butterfly motif (maodie 貓蝶). It’s a pun for maodie 耄耋 (very old age) and often used to celebrate longevity. In such paintings, cats and butterflies are typically depicted with flowers.

“Fugui huali tu” 富貴花貍圖 (Wealth and Cat), anonymous Song artist

Picture credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei


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Excellent cat content!

May 12, 2022
Replying to

My pleasure 😉

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