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“Mianquan” 眠犬 (Sleeping Dog) by Jin Tingbiao 金廷標 Pt. 4

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

Picture credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei

項綴金環掉尾, A golden ring around the neck, the tail resting cosily,

文茵翠毯晝眠。 [On a] patterned rug and turquoise tapis, [it] sleeps a lot during daytime.

好教繪寫昇平慶, Have this painted well as a celebration of prosperity and peace,

吠静花邨景若[1] A flowery village with no barking sounds – what a nice scene!

臣彭啟豐 By [your] subject Peng Qifeng

雙睛漠漠尾娑, Its eyes are dim, its tail at ease,

不似寒更豹吠。 Unlike during freezing nights [when it] barks like a leopard a lot.[2]

料得花邨人静後, A flowery village, after people rest in silence,

月明田畔有誰。 Who would be out there in the fields under the bright moon?

臣錢維城 By [your] subject Qian Weicheng

宋鵲難譌鳳尾, The Magpie-of-the-Song [3] barely feigns a phoenix’s graceful tail;

太平世界夜眠。 In a world of great peace, [it] sleeps a lot at night.

比將華子岡頭月, Comparing [this] to moon-lit Huazi Hillock, [4]

深巷寒更聽若。 What’s the sound of a backstreet during a freezing night? [5]

臣陳孝泳 By [your] subject Chen Xiaoyong

[1] Red chracters rhyme. Note that the rhyming characters are the same as the emperor’s poems ( to which the subjects responded. [2] The wording recalls the passage shenxiang hanquan, feisheng ru bao 深巷寒犬, 吠聲如豹 (a freezing dog from a backstreet barks like a leopard) in the “Shanzhong yu Pei xiucai Di shu” 山中與裴秀才迪書 (Letter from the mountains to the Flourishing Talent Pei Di) by the eminent Tang poet Wang Wei 王維 (699-759); see Wang Wei, Wang Wei ji jiaozhu 王維集校注 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1997), 929. [3] Songque 宋鵲 (Magpie-of-the-Song) was originally the name of a fine dog in the state of Song during the Warring States period (475/403-221 BCE) and later became a metaphor for a fine dog. [4] Huazigang 華子崗 (Huazi Hillock) was a site in the Zhongnan Mountains where Wang Wei led a reclusive life. [5] The last two lines are also echo the abovementioned letter by Wang Wei (“Shanzhong yu Pei xiucai Di shu”), in which he contrasts the tranquility of Huazi Hillock with distant sounds from a village, such as barking, pestling, and sporadic bells; see Wang Wei, Wang Wei ji jiaozhu, 929.


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