《千字文》(五) with English Translations

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《千字文》(五)

晋楚更霸,赵魏困横。假途灭虢,践土会盟。何遵约法,韩弊烦刑。

起翦颇牧,用军最精。宣威沙漠,驰誉丹青。

九州禹迹,百郡秦并。岳宗泰岱,禅主云亭。雁门紫塞,鸡田赤城。昆池碣石,巨野洞庭。旷远绵邈,岩岫杳冥。

治本于农,务资稼穑。俶载南亩,我艺黍稷。税熟贡新,劝赏黜陟。

孟轲敦素,史鱼秉直。庶几中庸,劳谦谨敕。聆音察理,鉴貌辨色。

贻厥嘉猷,勉其祗植。省躬讥诫,宠增抗极。殆辱近耻,林皋幸即。两疏见机,解组谁逼?

索居闲处,沉默寂寥。求古寻论,散虑逍遥。欣奏累遣,戚谢欢招。

渠荷的历,园莽抽条。枇杷晚翠,梧桐早凋。

The Thousand-Character Writing (V)

Kingdoms Jin and Chu in turn dominated the other kingdoms during the Spring and Autumn Period,
Kingdoms Zhao and Wei were forced into adversity because of the Lianheng tactics during the Warring States times.
Kingdom Jin took a neighbor kingdom’s road to overthrow Kingdom Guo
And the king of Jin called the dukes together at Jiantu and formed the alliance.
Xiao He followed the rules fixed by Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Han Dynasty,
Han Fie got punished and harmed by his own self-made laws.

Bai Qi, Wang Jian, Lian Po and Li Mu were famous senior generals during the Warring States period,
All of them were best versed in the art of military fighting.
Their reputation and prestige spread even in the desert land,
And their heroic deeds and honor would be recorded in history and everlasting.

The control of floods by Da Yu was known throughout the nine provinces in the then China,
The Qin emperor unified hundreds of prefectures.
Mountain Tai was known as Number One among the five famous mountains,
Feudal monarchs offered sacrifice to the gods of heaven and earth at Yunyun and Tingting which were two holy hills.
The Yanmen Pass, the Qin Great Wall,
Jitianyi, a post station, the Mount called Chicheng,
The Kunming Lake, Mount Jieshi in Hebei Province,
Shandong’s Juye Lake, and Hunan’s Lake Dongting,
All the above places bore out that China had a vast territory,
High and steep mountains whose deep caves seemed glooming.

Take farming industry as the foundation of the country,
Remember to get well prepared for sowing and harvesting.
During the tilling time, people were out in the fields laboring,
And sowed grain crops such as millet and kaoliang.
Once harvested, a certain amount of new grain must be handed over to the state to pay the tax;
The willing tax-payers got praised and rewarded, and those would be punished who were unwilling.

Mencius advocated a simple life,
Shi Yu was honest and upright in behaving.
People should try their best to maintain balance in their life attitude,
And keep being careful, modest and hardworking.
When listening to the people, one should try to understand what was really meant by their words;
When being together with the people, one should be good at weighing up their words, watching their facial expressions and guessing their implied meaning.

One ought to learn good ideas and experience from other people,
And encourage oneself to be modest, to make progress and to well establish oneself in society.
To be well established in society, one ought to constantly engage in introspection and never ridicule others;
When finding favour in the superior’s eyes, one ought to guard against the “extreme joy begets sorrow” calamity.
When one’s honour and rank reach their height, disgrace and shame are approaching;
One can avert disasters if one timely retires to one’s home or seclusion.
Shu Guang and Shu Shou (two wise persons of the Han Dynasty) resigned from their post at an opportune time,
Who else could force them to giver their resignation?

Stay at a lonely place and retire in comfort,
Without gossips one could live in serenity and happiness.
Seek ancient wisdom and find life’s truth,
Be carefree and live in leisureliness.
Joy is increased and worry is decreased,
As sorrow declines, there comes joyousness.

Lotus blooms in the lake look dazzlingly beautiful,
The grass in the garden sprouts and turns green.
Loquats are still as green as emerald even in winter,
Wutong trees’ leaves early in autumn are fallen.

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