黑衣小兒雨打牕， The brat in black hits against my window [like] rain,
斑衣小兒雷殷牀。 The brat with streaks rumbles over my bed [like] thunder.
良宵永晝作底用， Fair nights, long days: what good are they after all,
只與二子更飛揚。 With nothing but the two brats flying to and fro.
開尊匕箸須一洗， [When I] raise a wine cup, the spoon and chopsticks require a rinse;
破巻燈火尤相妨。 [When I] open a book, the lamp and fire create an even bigger nuisance.
從來所持白羽扇， The white-feathered fan that [I] have always held,
自許百萬猶能當。 Boasts it repels [them] in their hundreds and thousands.
安知手腕為汝脱， How could I have known because of you my wrist would be disjointed?
以小喻大眞成狂。 One who sees the great in the small would get truly cross.
揮之使去定無策， Waving them away [I] settle on no plan;
葛帳十幅眠空堂。 Within ten layers of kudzu curtains [I] sleep in an empty hall.
朝喧暮鬨姑聽汝， [I] listen for now to your morning humming and evening buzzing,
坐待九月飛嚴霜。 And sit waiting for the ninth month with harsh frost flying.
* From Zeng Ji 曾幾 (1084-1164), Chashan ji 茶山集 (Wenyuange yingyin Siku quanshu 文淵閣景印四庫全書, vol. 1136, Shanghai: Shanghai guji chubanshe, 1987), 3.11a-b: https://ctext.org/library.pl?if=en&file=3665&page=92.
 It is common in poetry to complain about the fatigue from trying to drive away mosquitoes with a fan, though the hyperbole about a disjointed wrist here is a little unusual.
 This line presumably associates the poet’s disappointment in the fan (the small) with a general criticism about making big promises without being able to keep them (the great).
 Red characters rhyme.
Album leaf on a mosquito-hunting spider, by Qian Xuan 錢選 (1235-1305)
Image credit: National Pa;ace Museum, Taipei
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