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Shen Zhou 沈周 on Chinese leaf


Hanging scroll by Shen Zhou 沈周 (1427-1509)

Image credit: The National Palace Museum, Taipei (https://digitalarchive.npm.gov.tw/Painting/Content?pid=3249&Dept=P)


南國昨夜雨, The rain on [this] southern land last night

肥勝大官。 [Made it] fatter than the Court Provisioner’s lamb.

党氏銷金帳, Did Dang under his golden-threaded baldachin

何曾得一[1] Ever taste this delight? [2]

沈周 Shen Zhou


[1] Red characters rhyme.

[2] The last two lines allude to the following anecdote about Dang Jin 党進 (927-977), a general at the beginning of the Northern Song (960-1127); recorded in Li Zongkong’s 李宗孔 (1620-1689) Songbai leichao 宋稗類鈔: https://ctext.org/library.pl?if=gb&file=50859&page=8.

陶學士穀買得党太尉故妓。取雪水烹團茶,謂妓曰:“党家應不識此。”妓曰:“彼麄人,安得有此。但能銷金帳下,淺酌低唱,飲羊羔美酒耳。”陶愧其言。

Academician Tao Gu (903-970) bought a courtesan who had formerly served Defender-in-Chief Dang [Jin]. Brewing a tea brick with melted snow, [Tao Gu] said to the courtesan, “Dang’s house probably knows nothing about this.” She replied, “He is a rustic. How would [he] know about such things? [He] simply has lamb with fine wine under the golden-threaded baldachin, pouring slowly, singing gently.” Tao was embarrassed by her words.


 

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