More Translations from the Chinese/Good-Bye to the People of Hangchow

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[46] GOOD-BYE TO THE PEOPLE OF HANGCHOW

[A.D. 824]

Elders and officers line the returning road;
Wine and soup load the parting table.
I have not ruled you with the wisdom of Shao Kung;[1]
What is the reason your tears should fall so fast?
My taxes were heavy, though many of the people were poor;
The farmers were hungry, for often their fields were dry.
All I did was to dam the water of the Lake[2]
And help a little in a year when things were bad.


  1. A legendary ruler who dispensed justice sitting under a wild pear-tree.
  2. Po Chü-i built the dam on the Western Lake which is still known as "Po's dam."