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Book IV. The Decade of Ch‘i Fu


The Ch‘i Fu; narrative. The soldiers of the royal guard complain of the service imposed on them by the minister of war.

1Hear, minister of war, the charge we bring!
We are the teeth and talons of the king;
  Close to his person is our place.
Why have you sent us to this homeless life,
Where far from court we roam, ’mid miseries rife?
  Why are we doomed to this disgrace? p. 227

2Hear, minister of war, the accusing word!
We are the taloned soldiers of our lord,
  And near his person should have rest.
But you from court have sent us far away,
Where ceaselessly we toil from day to day,
  By constant misery oppressed.

3Hear, minister of war, whose erring deed
Has paid our valor with a sorry meed,
  When we should near the court reside.
Why have you sent us far to suffer grief,
And leave our mothers longing for relief,
  With all their cooking labors tried?

Next: II. Pai Chü