The Accomplished Man

Hulu jushi fanyi






Zuo Si of the Jin dynasty

Poem Eight from Eight Poems on History

Flap, flap, a caged bird
Beating wings against four corners.
Aloof, aloof, the backstreet scholar,
A brooding shadow kept to an empty house.
Going out, there is no exit,
Brambles block the way.
Dreams are abandoned,
Like fish out of water.
On the street  – no measure of fortune;
At home – not a measure saved.
Constantly belittled by relations,
Day and night neglected by friends.
Su Qin propagandized in the north and
Li Si memorialized in the west, but
Aspiring to glory and splendor, tsk,
Is just carving rotten wood.
Drinking from the river fills the belly,
But one can drink only so much.
A forest nest need perch but on a single branch:
Such is the way of the accomplished man.

晉 左思


習習籠中鳥    舉翮觸四隅
落落窮巷士    抱影守空廬
出門無通路    枳棘塞中塗
計策棄不收    塊若枯池魚
外望無寸祿    內顧無斗儲
親戚還相蔑    朋友日夜疏
蘇秦北遊說    李斯西上書
俛仰生榮華    咄嗟復彫枯
飲河期滿腹    貴足不願餘
巢林棲一枝    可為達士模



Zuo Si 左思 (250-305 A.D.), Yongshi bashou 詠史八首 (Eight Poems on History), Wenxüan 文選 (Selections of Refined Literature, ca. 520 A.D.), Xiao Tong 蕭統 (501–531 A.D.), comp. (Hong Kong: Commerical Book Co., 1973), ch. 21, pp. 447.



29. September 2012 by Steven D. Owyoung
Categories: Literature, Translation | Comments Off on The Accomplished Man