Excellent Ancient Adages, Together with Notes on the Writings of Chinese Romanized in the Hokkien Dialect/Translations of Chhien Ju Bun or 2nd Chapter.

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Translations of Chhien Ju Bun or 2nd Chapter.

The terseness of the following rhymes is extracted mostly from the work of Mr. Robert A. Giles.

1. Blue skies above a yellow earth,
Beginning of the creation’s birth.

2. Moon’s courses run around the sun,
Stars emit lights when day is done.

3. Spring season comes, the Summer o’er,
Reap in autumn, store in winter.

4. By adding month the year complete,
The sun and moon should timely meet.

5. Collecting clouds form rain-drops bright,
And dew into frost snowy white.

6. Gold from the river Le is found,
And jade is brought from Khun Kong’s mount.

7. The sword is styled Excaliber,
And pearl claimed the night brighter.

8. Amongst the fruits are damson, plum,
Eatable mustard, ginger come.

9. The sea is salt, the river sweet,
Bird flies, and fish swims in the deep.

10. When virtuous rulers once appeared,
Curious signs were discovered.

11. Chhong khiet caused the scholastic lore,
And Ui-te the first garments wore.

12. Mongst sovereigns resigned the throne,
Iu-gu and To-tong stand alone.

13. On avenging wrongs first detected,
Siang’s style Thong, and of Chiu was Hoat.

14. Noble bent they desired to scheme,
To learn the principal doctrines.

15. They dearly loved black haired children,
And swayed the folks beyond region.

16. Kind to all people far or near,
Neighb'ring borderers dealt with fear.

17. Phoenix warbl’d on bamboo tree,
And white colts fed in meadows spree.

18. Through grass and trees their patterns fram’d,
On all lands reputations gained.

19. Four limbs, hairs, and precious tissues,
Adorn them with five pure virtues.

20. Serve your parents with awe and care,
To injure them how could you dare.

21. Blest women guard their chastity,
And good men their sage’s rivals be.

22. Of self reform be never tired,
Forget not what you once acquired.

23. To other's faults indulgence show,
Our merits should unnotice go.

24. Let your sincerity be known,
No unlimited pleasures own.

25. Bek grieved o’er silk that once was white,
In spotless lambs the odes delight.

26. The virtuous strive to intimate,
Your mind towards wisdom regulate.

27. Virtue a sure reward will get,
Good deeds a good example set.

28. Through Valleys deep, through empty halls,
Echo, reverberating calls.

29. Vice ever ends in wretchedness,
Virtue’s reward is happiness.

30. A foot of jade is worthless stone,
Make every inch of time your own.

31. Serving your prince and your parents,
With strict cares and due reverence.

32. In filial duties strain each nerve,
And do your country’s cause to serve,

33. Take heed as if some danger nigh,
Betimes your parents’ wants supply.

34. Thus the sweet larkspur and the pine,
In you their richnesses combine.

35. Each rippling brook and limpid stream,
True emblems of your goodness seem.

36. Your mien should be serenely staid,
Each word you utter duly weigh’d.

37. Great care upon beginnings spend,
And so continue to the end.

38. Fortune and fame you’re sure to seize,
With glorious principles like these.

39. Rank, and the numerous cares of state,
Success in learning’s path await.

40. Your memory like the pear-tree prized.
Your name in song immortalized.

41. Music for various ranks is set,
For each a different etiquette.

42. Let peace mongst high and lowly reign,
The housewife sings her husband’s strain.

43. To teachers due attention pay,
All your mother’s kind words obey.

44. Your nephews and your nieces too,
Love as though they belong’d to you.

45. Let brothers fondly cherish’d be,
As branches of the self same tree.

46. Let friends the joys of friendship move
And each the other’s faults reprove.

47. Yearn other’s troubles never cease,
To stay the current of your peace.

48. Guard honour well and chastity,
Humility and modesty.

49. A tranquil mind no passion fire,
Emotions strong our systems tire.

50. Strive hard substantial goods to gain,
Nor flying phantoms chase in vain.

51. In fixity of purpose lies,
The key to each official prize.

52. The flowery kingdom once possessed,
Two noble cities, east and west.

53. A stream before a hill behind,
The one, round that two rivers wind.

54, Throughout pavilions scattered lie,
Their minarets seem to touch the sky.

55. Pictures of beasts and birds of air,
Of gods and goddesses are there.

56. Long halls each side these buildings graced,
With tented roofs on columns placed.

57. Herein conviviality reigns,
Midst music’s soft melodious strains.

58. Whilst round about a numerous band,
Of robed officials sit or stand.

59. Two vast saloons lie left and right,
The “spacious hall,” the “ mansion bright.”

60. Here manuscripts lie pile on pile,
And heroes leisure hours begile.

61. Caligraphy one also finds,
With ancient books of various kinds,

62. Here soldiers and civilians meet,
Causes are heard in every street.

63. Eight districts too, to some belong,
Their body guard a thousand strong.

64. Their Prince they follow close behind.
Their feathers fluttering in the wind.

65. To rank and wealth illustrious heirs,
Fine steeds and glittering chariots theirs.

66. Their doughty deeds are widely known,
Engrav’d on many a tablet stone.

67. I-in and Lu of Phoan-si swell,
The last of deeds in records tell.

68. Tan guides of workman’s cunning hand,
And gardens smile on barren sand,

69. The valiant Hoan put forth his might,
A champion in the cause of right.

70. At Khi’s devotion Hui ruled.
And Bu-teng was by Iet schooled.

71. Thus mien in every age has shown,
Those virtues which support a throne.

72. From Chin to Chhor the empire passed,
And Tiau and Gui gave in at last.

73. Against Khek we see a treacherous raid,
At Chien Thor a treaty made.

74. Ho’s laws were long his country’s pride,
The wicked Han in prison died.

75. Khi, Chien, Pho, Bok were general four,
Well versed in all the art of war.

76. Far Gobi (Shamo) trembled at their name,
The painter’s art preserved their fame,

77. By U nine provinces were planned,
Chin made the hundred states disband.

78. First of five mighty mountains, Thai,
Where Emperors kneel and bullocks die.

79. Gan-bun and thou too “Purple Wall,”
Ke-tien red city-famous all.

80. Where boisterous streams, cliffs hard to mount,
Desserts, and Tong-teng’s liquids fount.

81. Around on every side appear,
The mountains dark, the Valleys drear.

82. Riches from agriculture flow,
Learn quickly then to reap and sow.

83. In fields the furthest south-begin,
To drop the millet seedings in.

84. First fruits and grain in tribute pay,
Exalt fair toil, drive sloth away.

85. A quiet life the master praised,
And Su his thoughts to virtue raised.

86. In lives like these is almost seen,
Perfection of the golden mean.

87. On what you hear a silence feed,
And learn men’s characters to read.

88. Let noble actions grace your name,
Make righteousness your end and aim.

89. Examine your body and store,
Take heed of good advice the more.

90. By shame or insult sorely tried,
Deep in some dusky forest hide.

91. The Sor’s watched well their time to fly,
And laid their robes of office by.

92. Life far from men and worldly strife,
A noiseless and secluded life.

93. No cares to vex while you explore,
The duty tomes of ancient lore.

94. Let nought your peace of mind destroy,
Breathe every flying hour to joy.

95. Rejoice to view and lilies fair,
And flowerets clustering everywhere.

96. The loquat, green throughout the year,
And trumpet trees, ere autumn sere.

97. Age saps their strength on every side,
Their foliage scattered far and wide.

98. The restless eagle wings its flight.
Away to realms of dazzling light.

99. Books, read by stealth at stalls, supply,
Learning for those who cannot buy.

100. Unguarded speech a wise man fears,
For rooms have walls and walls have ears.

101. The plainest viands are the best,
And eaten with a keener zest.

102. For dainties soon the palate cloy,
The hungry men coarse food enjoy.

103. Respect for age should be observed,
The old with nicer food be served.

104. A Concubine should ply the loom,
Attending in the inner room.

105. Their silken fans of matchless white.
And silv’ry taper burning bright.

106. By day and night blue mats are spread.
O’er a gorgeous ivory bed,

107. Sweet music charms the banquet hours.
All silver mugs crown’d with flowers.

108. Joy reigns supreme, while hands and feet,
The music’s measur’d cadence beat.

109. Lawful wife’s son, his father’s heir,
All sacrifices are his care.

110. Twice prostrate on the ground he lies,
No dares to raise his trembling eyes.

111. In composition terseness seek,
With clearness ever strive to speak.

112. A dirty person seeks a pool,
Burnt fingers clutch at something cool.

113. Affrighted animal betray,
By hasty fight their wild dismay.

114. Let death the brigand’s fear be made,
And seize each rebel renegade.

115. Por drew the bow, good markers he. Liau was best at games of ball,
Ke’s lute made dulcet melody. In whistling Goan vanquished all.

116. Tiam‘s genius wrought the earlist pen, and paper Lun invented for men,
Kin amongst artizans was first, and Jim amongst anglers far from worst.

117. Naught could their energies arrest,
And all mankind their worth confessed.

118. Mor’s beauty move a pensive air,
But Si was blithe as she was fair.

119. Like arrows, years fly swiftly by,
The sun brightly shines in the sky.

120. The starry firmament goes round,
The changing moon is constant found.

121. The heart remains, the full spent,
Be then on time to come intent.

122. A dignity of mien maintain,
As if within some sacred fame.

123. Adjust your dress with equal care,
For private as for public wear.

124. For all men love to crack a joke,
At ignorant and vulgar folk.

125. The final ia () at last, admit
Makes thousand characters complete.

Chapter 1st (corrected)

178. Close to a wise will be a wise.
Close to a fool, a fool likewise.