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陸游《犬雞》“The dog and the chicken” by Lu You (1125-1210)

小犬一何警, How alert is the small dog,

日夜吠籬。 Barking day and night at the hedge.

老雞則不然, Far from that is the old chicken,

平旦方喔。 Crowing only at the breaking of dawn.

勤惰各其性, Diligent or lazy, each reveals its nature.

於我何厚。 To me how is one better than the other?

糠粞一施之, Crushed grains [I] feed them alike,

且復慰寂[1] As a measure of comfort too in this lonely spell.

* From Lu You, Jiannan shigao jiaozhu 劍南詩稿校注 (Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1985), annotated by Qian Zhonglian 錢仲聯, 72.4004.

[1] Red characters rhyme.

Detail of the album leaf "Yecan zuo jin" 野蠶作錦, showing a little dog and a cock in a silkworm farm; by Dai Quheng 戴衢亨 (1755-1811)

Picture credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei

My new little neighbour, undoing shoelaces a speciality!


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