The cantos of ezra pound [from The Cantos of Ezra Pound (1972)]



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7530 gave out grain till the treasures were empty

7531 by the Nine vases of YU, demobilized army

7532 sent horses to Hoa-chan

7533 To the peach groves

7534 Dated his year from the winter solstice.

7535 Red was his dynasty.

7536 Kids 8 to 15 in the schools, then higher training

7537 mottoes writ all over walls

7538 'Use their ways and their music

7539 Keep form of their charts and banners

7540 Prepare soldiers in peace time

7541 All is lost in the night clubs

7542 that was gained under good rule.'

7543 Wagon with small box wherein was a needle

7544 that pointed to southward

7545 and this was called the South Chariot.

7546 Lo Yang in the middle Kingdom and its length

7547 was 17200 feet. Saith Tcheou Kong: True sage seeks not repose.

7548 Hope without work is crazy

7549 Your forebear among the people

7550 dressed as one of the people

7551 Caring for needs of the people,

7552 old when he came to the throne

7553 Observing the solstice.

7554 Died eleven o six ante Christum

7555 are still bits of his writing

7556 'A good governor is as wind over grass
[Page 267]
7557 A good ruler keeps down taxes.'

7558 Tching-ouang kept lynx eye on bureaucrats

7559 lynx eye on the currency

7560 weight of the tchu was one 24th of an ounce

7561 or one hundred grains of millet

7562 cloth bolt and silk bolt

7563 to be two feet two inches by four tchang (one Tchang equals

7564 four feet)

7565 reigned till 1079

7566 and was peace for the rest of his reign.

7567 Called for his hat shaped as a mortar board

7568 set out the precious stones on his table

7569 saying this is my will and my last will

7570 Keep peace

7571 Keep the peace, care for the people.

7572 Ten lines, no more in his testament.

7573 Chao Kong called the historians,

7574 laid out white and violet damask

7575 For the table of jewels, as when Tching-ouang received princes.

7576 On the table of the throne of the West

7577 laid out the charters

7578 constitutions of antient kings and two sorts of stone

7579 Hong-pi and Yuen-yen

7580 And on the East table he put the pearls from Mt Hoa-chan

7581 and pearls from the islands and the sphere of Chun

7582 that showeth the places of heaven. And the dance robes of In

7583 the old dynasty and the great drum that is 8 feet high

7584 these he put in the place for music. The pikes, bows,

7585 bamboo arrows and war gear he set to the East.

7586 The mats of the first rank of rushes bordered with damask

7587 of the second of bamboo and the third rank

7588 of tree bark.

7589 A gray fur cap for the crowning, and 20 ft halbards.

7590 (Ten seven eight ante Christum)

7591 'Left in my Father's orders, By the table of jewels
[Page 268]
7592 To administrate as in the law left us

7593 Keep peace in the Empire

7594 Ouen Ouang, and Wu Wang your fathers.'

7595 Thus came Kang to be Emperor/.

7596 White horses with sorrel manes in the court yard.

7597 'I am pro-Tcheou' said Confucius

7598 'I am' said Confutzius 'pro-Tcheou in politics'

7599 Wen-wang and Wu-wang had sage men, strong as bears

7600 Said young Kang-wang:

7601 Help me to keep the peace!

7602 Your ancestors have come one by one under our rule

7603 for our rule.

7604 Honour to Chao-Kong the surveyor.

7605 Let his name last 3000 years

7606 Gave each man land for his labour

7607 not by plough-land alone

7608 But for keeping of silk-worms

7609 Reforested the mulberry groves

7610 Set periodical markets

7611 Exchange brought abundance, the prisons were empty.

7612 'Yao and Chun have returned'

7613 sang the farmers

7614 'Peace and abundance bring virtue.' I am

7615 'pro-Tcheou' said Confucius five centuries later.

7616 With his mind on this age.

7617 [Image] Chou


7618 In the 16th of Kang Ouang died Pé-kin

7619 Prince of Lou, friend of peace, friend of the people

7620 worthy son of Tcheou-kong

7621 And in the 26th Kang Ouang, died Chao-Kong the tireless


[Page 269]
7622 on a journey he made for good of the state

7623 and men never thereafter cut branches

7624 of the pear-trees whereunder he had sat deeming

7625 justice

7626 deeming the measures of lands.

7627 And you will hear to this day the folk singing

7628 Grow pear-boughs, be fearless

7629 let no man break twig of this tree

7630 that gave shade to Chao-Kong

7631 he had shadow from sun here;

7632 rest had he in your shade.

7633 Died then Kang Wang in the 26th of his reign. b.c. 1053

7634 Moon shone in an haze of colours

7635 Water boiled in the wells, and died Tchao-ouang

7636 to joy of the people.

7637 Tchao-ouang that hunted across the tilled fields

7638 And MOU-OUANG said:

7639 'as a tiger against me,

7640 a man of thin ice in thaw

7641 aid me in the darkness of rule'

7642 then fell into vanity

7643 against council led out a myriad army and brought back

7644 4 wolves and 4 deer

7645 his folk remained mere barbarians.

7646 Yet when neared an hundred

7647 he wd/ have made reparation

7648 Criminal law is from Chun,

7649 from necessity only

7650 In doubt, no condemnation, rule out irrelevant evidence.

7651 Law of MOU is law of the just middle, the pivot.

7652 Riches that come of court fines and of judges' takings

7653 these are no treasure

7654 as is said in the book Lin hing of the Chu King.

7655 And the governor's daughters, three daughters,

7656 came to the river King-Ho,
[Page 270]
7657 For ten months was the emperor silent

7658 and in the twelfth month, he, KONG, burnt the town

7659 and got over it

7660 Song turned against Y-wang, great hail upon

7661 Hiao wang

7662 killing the cattle, Han-kiang was frozen over.

7663 And in his time was the horse dealer Fei-tsei

7664 industrious, of the fallen house of Pe-y

7665 who became master of equerry, who became Prince of Tsin.

7666 Li WANG avid of silver, to whom a memorial

7667 'A Prince who wd/ fulfill obligation, takes caution

7668 à ce que l'argent circule

7669 that cash move amongst the people.

7670 'Glory of HEOU-TSIE is clouded

7671 Deathless his honour that saw his folk using their substance.

7672 The end of your house is upon us.'

7673 b.c. 860 Youi-leang-fou, in memorial.

7674 Said Chao-kong: Talk of the people

7675 is like the hills and the streams

7676 Thence comes our abundance.

7677 To be Lord to the four seas of China

7678 a man must let men make verses

7679 he must let people play comedies

7680 and historians write down the facts

7681 he must let the poor speak evil of taxes.

7682 Interregnum of Cong-ho. Siuen went against the west tartars

7683 His praise lasts to this day: Siuen-ouang contra barbaros

7684 legat belli ducem Chaoumoukong,

7685 Hoailand, fed by Hoai river

7686 dark millet, Tchang wine for the sacrifice.

7687 Juxta fluvium Hoai acies ordinatur nec mora

7688 Swift men as if flyers, like Yangtse

7689 Strong as the Yangtse,

7690 they stand rooted as mountains

7691 they move as a torrent of waters
[Page 271]
7692 Emperor not rash in council: agit considerate

7693 HAN founded the town of Yuei

7694 and taught men to sow the five grains

7695 In the 4th year of Siuen,

7696 Sié was founded.

7697 and there were four years of dry summer.

7698 RITE is:

7699 Nine days before the first moon of spring time,

7700 that he fast. And with gold cup of wheat-wine

7701 that he go afield to spring ploughing

7702 that he plough one and three quarters furrows

7703 and eat beef when this rite is finished,

7704 so did not Siuen

7705 that after famine, called back the people

7706 where are reeds to weave, where are pine trees

7707 Siuen established this people hac loca fluvius alluit

7708 He heard the wild geese crying sorrow

7709 Campestribus locis

7710 here have we fixed our dwelling

7711 after our sorrow,

7712 our grandsons shall have our estate

7713 The Lady Pao Sse brought earthquakes. TCHEOU falleth,

7714 folly, folly, false fires no true alarm

7715 Mount Ki-chan is broken.

7716 Ki-chan is crumbled in the 10th moon of the 6th year of

7717 Yeou Ouang

7718 Sun darkened, the rivers were frozen....

7719 and at this time was Tçin rising, a marquis on the

7720 Tartar border

7721 Empire down in the rise of princes

7722 Tçin drave the tartar, lands of the emperor idle

7723 Tcheou tombs fallen in ruin

7724 from that year was no order

7725 No man was under another

7726 9 Tcheou wd/ not stand together
[Page 272]
7727 were not rods in a bundle

7728 Sky dark, cloudless and starless

7729 at midnight a rain of stars

7730 Wars,

7731 wars without interest

7732 boredom of an hundred years' wars.

7733 And in Siang, the princes impatient

7734 killed a bad king for a good one, and thus Ouen Kong

7735 came to their rule in Sung land

7736 and they said Siang had been killed when hunting

7737 Ouen cherished the people.

7738 States of Lou were unhappy

7739 Their Richards poisoned young princes.

7740 All bloods, murders, all treasons

7741 Sons of the first wife of Ouen Kong.

7742 Ling Kong loved to shoot from the hedges

7743 you'd see him behind a wall with his arrows

7744 For fun of winging pedestrians

7745 this prince liked eating bears' paws.

7746 By the Nine Urns of Yu, King Kong

7747 made an alliance at hearing the sound of Tcheou music

7748 This was the year of the two eclipses

7749 And Cheou-lang that held up the portcullis

7750 was named 'hillock' because of a lump on his head

7751 Man of Sung, and his line of Lou land Chung [Image]

7752 and his second son was Kung-fu-tseu

7753 Taught and the not taught. Kung and Eleusis

7754 to catechumen alone.

7755 And when Kung was poor, a supervisor of victuals

7756 Pien's report boosted him Ni [Image]

7757 so that he was made supervisor of cattle

7758 In that time were banquets as usual, Kung was inspector of

7759 markets

7760 And that year was a comet in Scorpio

7761 and by night they fought in the boats on Kiang river
[Page 273]
7762 And King Wang thought to vary the currency

7763


7764 against council's opinion,

7765 and to gain by this wangling.

7766 Honour to Fen-yang who resisted injustice

7767 And King Kong said 'That idea is good doctrine'

7768 But I am too old to start using it.

7769 Never were so many eclipses.

7770 Then Kungfutseu was made minister and moved promptly

7771 against C. T. Mao

7772 and had him beheaded

7773 that was false and crafty of heart

7774 a tough tongue that flowed with deceit

7775 A man who remembered evil and was complacent in doing it.

7776 LOU rose. Tsi sent girls to destroy it

7777 Kungfutseu retired

7778 At Tching someone said:

7779 there is man with Yao's forehead

7780 Cao's neck and the shoulders of Tsé Tchin

7781 A man tall as Yu, and he wanders about in front of the

7782 East gate

7783 like a dog that has lost his owner.

7784 Wrong, said Confucius, in what he says of those Emperors

7785 but as to the lost dog, quite correct.

7786 He was seven days foodless in Tchin

7787 the rest sick and Kung making music

7788 'sang even more than was usual'

7789 Honour to Yng P the bastard

7790 Tchin and Tsai cut off Kung in the desert

7791 and Tcheou troops alone got him out

7792 Tsao fell after 25 generations

7793 And Kung cut 3000 odes to 300

7794 Comet from Yng star to Sin star, that is two degrees long

7795 in the 40th year of King Ouang

7796 Died Kung aged 73
[Page 274]
7797 Min Kong's line was six centuries lasting

7798 and there were 84 princes

7799 Swine think of extending borders

7800 Decent rulers of internal order

7801 Fan-li sought the five lakes

7802 Took presents but made no highways

7803 Snow fell in mid summer

7804 Apricots were in December, Mountains defend no state

7805 nor swift rivers neither, neither Tai-hia nor Hoang-ho

7806 Usurpations, jealousies, taxes

7807 Greed, murder, jealousies, taxes and douanes

7808 338 died Hao tse Kong-sung-yang

7809 Sou-tsin, armament racket, war propaganda.

7810 and Tchan-y was working for Tsin

7811 brain work POLLON IDEN

7812 and Tchao Siang called himself 'Emperor of the Occident'

7813 Sou Tsi thought it badinage

7814 Yo-Y reduced corvées and taxes.

7815 Thus of Kung or Confucius, and of 'Hillock' his father

7816 when he was attacking a city

7817 his men had passed under the drop gate

7818 And the warders then dropped it, so Hillock caught

7819 the whole weight on his shoulder, and held till his

7820 last man had got out.

7821 Of such stock was Kungfutseu.

7822 Chou [Image]


[Page 275]

LIV


7823 So that Tien-tan chose bulls, a thousand

7824 and covered them with great leather masks, making

7825 dragons

7826 and bound poignards to their horns

7827 and tied torches, pitch-smeared, to their tails

7828 and loosed them by night from ten points

7829 on the camp of Ki-kié the besieger

7830 lighting the torches

7831 So died Ki-kié and that town (Tsié-mé) was delivered. b.c. 279

7832 For three hundred years, four hundred, nothing quiet,

7833 WALL rose in the time of TSIN CHI

7834 TCHEOU lasted eight centuries and then TSIN came

7835 and of TSIN was CHI HOANG TI that united all China

7836 who referred to himself as the surplus

7837 or needless bit of the Empire

7838 and jacked up astronomy

7839 and after 33 years burnt the books

7840 because of fool litterati b.c. 213

7841 by counsel of Li-ssé

7842 save medicine and on field works

7843 and HAN was after 43 years of TSIN dynasty.

7844 some fishin' some huntin' some things cannot be

7845 changed

7846 some cook, some do not cook

7847 some things can not be changed.

7848 And when TSE-YNG had submitted, Siao-ho ran to the palace

7849 careless of treasure, and laid hold of the records,

7850 registers of the realm for Lord Lieou-pang

7851 that wd/ be first HAN

7852 Now after the end of EULH and the death of his eunuch


[Page 276]
7853 were Lieou-pang, and Hiang-yu

7854 who had taste for commanding

7855 but made no progress in letters,

7856 saying they serve only to transmit names to posterity

7857 and he wished to carve up the empire

7858 bloody rhooshun, thought in ten thousands

7859 his word was worth nothing, he would not learn fencing. And

7860 against him

7861 Lieou-pang stored food and munitions

7862 b.c. 202 so that he came to be emperor, KAO,

7863 brought calm and abundance

7864 No taxes for a whole year,

7865 'no taxes till people can pay 'em'

7866 'When the quarry is dead, weapons are useless.'

7867 'It appears to me' said this Emperor, 'that it is

7868 because I saw what each man cd/ put through.'

7869 And Lou-kia was envoy to Nan-hai, with nobility,

7870 and wished that the king (the books Chu king and Chi king)

7871 be restored

7872 to whom KAO: I conquered the empire on horseback.

7873 to whom Lou: Can you govern it in that manner?

7874 whereon Lou-kia wrote 'The New Discourse' (Sin-yu)

7875 in 12 chapters, and the books were restored.

7876 And KAO went to Kung fu tseu's tomb out of policy

7877 videlicet to please the writers and scholars

7878 A hot lord and unlettered, that knew to correct his own faults

7879 as indeed when he had first seen palace women, their

7880 splendour

7881 yet listened to Fan-kouai

7882 and had gone out of Hien-yang the palace, aroused.

7883 And he told Siao-ho to edit the law code

7884 Thereon the men in the vaudevilles

7885 sang of peace and of empire

7886 Au douce temps de pascor


[Page 277]
7887 And Tchang-tsong wrote of music, its principles

7888 Sun-tong made record of rites

7889 And this was written all in red-character, countersigned by

7890 the assembly

7891 sealed with the Imperial Seal

7892 and put in the hall of the forebears

7893 as check on successors.

7894 HIAO HOEI TI succeeded his father.

7895 Rain of blood fell in Y-yang

7896 pear trees fruited in winter

7897 LIU-HEOU was empress, with devilments,

7898 till the grandees brought Hiao OUEN b.c. 179

7899 Prince of Tai to the throne

7900 that was son of KAO TI and a concubine

7901 (no tribute for the first year of his reign)

7902 And the chief of the Southern Barbarians complained

7903 that his silver import was intercepted

7904 circulation of specie impeded

7905 the tombs of his ancestors ruin'd

7906 '49 years have I governed Nan-yuei

7907 my grandsons are now fit to serve

7908 I am old, nigh blind, can scarce hear the drum-beats

7909 I give up title of Emperor.'

7910 And Kia-Y sent in a petition that they store grain against

7911 famine

7912 and HIAO OUEN TI the emperor published:

7913 Earth is the nurse of all men

7914 I now cut off one half the taxes

7915 I wish to follow the sages, to honour Chang Ti by my furrow

7916 Let farm folk have tools for their labour it is

7917 for this I reduce the said taxes

7918 Gold is inedible. Let no war find us unready.

7919 Thus Tchao-tso of his ministry (war)

7920 'Gold will sustain no man's life nor will diamonds


[Page 278]
7921 keep the land under culture....

7922 by wise circulation. Bread is the base of subsistence.'

7923 They ended mutilation as punishment

7924 were but 400 men in all jails

7925 Died HIAO OUEN TI, ante Cristum one fifty seven.

7926 After 23 years of reign, that pensioned the elders.

7927 b.c. 146 Great rebels began making lead money

7928 grasshoppers came against harvest

7929 And Li-kouang bluffed the tartars (the Hiong-nou)

7930 in face of a thousand, he and his scouts dismounted

7931 and unsaddled their horses, so the Hiong nou

7932 thought Li's army was with him.

7933 Virtue is the daughter of heaven, YU followed CHUN

7934 and CHUN, YAO having one root of conduct

7935 HIAO KING had a just man's blood on his conscience.

7936 [Image] Sin

7937 jih

7938 jih

7939 sin,

7940 HIA'S fortune was in good ministers

7941 The highbrows are full of themselves

7942 learnèd, gay and irrelevant

7943 on such base nothing stands

7944 HAN OU was for huntin', huntin' tigers, bears, leopards

7945 They said: you outride all yr/ huntsmen

7946 no one else has such good horses.

7947 The prince of Hoai-nan took to light reading

7948 Prince of Ho-kien preferred histories, Chu King

7949 and the Tcheou-li and the Li-ki of Mencius (Mong-tsé)

7950 and the Chi-king or Odes of Mao-chi and the Tchun-tsiou

7951 with the comment of Tso-kieou-min.

7952 and the Li-yo with treatise on music.


[Page 279]
7953 HAN TCHAO TI opened the granaries

7954 HAN SIEUN (or SIUN) was fed up with highbrows

7955 Preferred men who knew people's habits

7956 'Writers are full of their own importance'

7957 And when the tartar king came to Tchang-ngan

7958 all the troops stood before him

7959 the great in ceremonial uniform waited before that city

7960 and the EMPEROR

7961 came out of the Palace with

7962 foreign and chinese princes,

7963 Mandarins of the army and the book mandarins

7964 as an hedge from the palace

7965 and He took his way between them

7966 mid cheering and acclamation

7967 Ouan-soui!! Ouan-soui!!

7968 10,000 Ouan Soui!! may he live for

7969 ten thousand years!

7970 They cried this for the Emperor and joy was in every voice.

7971 And the Tartar ran from his car to HAN SIEUN

7972 held out his hand in friendship

7973 and then remounted his war horse

7974 And they came into the city, and to the palace

7975 prepared

7976 And next day two imperial princes went to the Prince Tartar

7977 the Tchen-yu and brought him to the audience hall

7978 where all princes sat in their orders

7979 and the Tchen-yu knelt to HAN SIEUN

7980 and stayed three days there in festival

7981 whereafter he returned to his border and province.

7982 He was the Prince of Hiong-nou

7983 And the kings of Si-yu, that are from Tchang-ngan to the

7984 Caspian

7985 came into the Empire

7986 to the joy of HAN SIEUN TI

7987 (Pretty manoeuvre but the technicians
[Page 280]
7988 watched with their hair standing on end

7989 anno sixteen, Bay of Naples)

7990 From Ngan to the Caspian all was under HAN SIEUN

7991 b.c. 49 The text of books reëstablished. And he died in the 25th of

7992 his reign

7993 And Fong-chi led the bear back to its cage

7994 which tale is as follows:

7995 Fong-chi and Fou-chi had titles but only as Queens of

7996 HAN YUEN

7997 and in the imperial garden a bear forced the bars of his cage

7998 and of the court ladies only Fong faced him

7999 who seeing this went back quietly to his cage.

8000 And now was seepage of bhuddists. HAN PING

8001 simple at table, gave tael to the poor

8002 Tseou-kou and Tchong took the high road

8003 The Prince of Ou-yen killed off a thousand,

8004 set troops to tilling the fields.

8005 KOUANG OU took his risks as a common soldier

8006 HAN MING changed nothing of OU's

8007 gave no posts to princesses' relatives

8008 and Yang Tchong sent in a placet that food prices had risen



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