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

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8982 HONG VOU voyant ses forces affoiblir

8983 dict: Que la vertu t'inspire, Tchu-ouen.

8984 Vous, mandarins fidèles, lettrés, gens d'armes

8985 Aidez mon petit-fils à soutenir

8986 La dignité de cest pouvoir

8987 le poids de son office

8988 Et comme au Prince OUEN TI

8989 jadis des HAN

8990 Faictes moi mes funérailles.

[Page 311]


8991 And when KIEN OUEN was throned

8992 his uncle set to unthrone him, saying:

8993 As Tcheou-kong looked after Tching-ouang his

8994 nephew ...

8995 protect him from the guiles of his ministers.

8996 And when the palace cd/ no more hold out

8997 they remembered a box left by HONG VOU

8998 wherein was written:

8999 Go out by the gate of Kouémen

9000 Under night dark, follow the aqueduct till you come to the

9001 temple of Chin Lo-koan

9002 And in the red chest was habit of hochang

9003 and diploma of hochang

9004 Nine men went with KIEN OUEN TI a.d. 1403

9005 and at Kouémen gate, messire Ouangchin, the taoist

9006 beat with his head on the ground, crying Ouan Soui

9007 may you live for 10,000 years

9008 HONG VOU came to me in a vision

9009 saying go to the gate at Kouémen

9010 and that I row you to Chin-lo-koan.

9011 Were nine mandarins, were Yang-long and Yé Hihien

9012 that went thus with KIEN TI, took monkhood,

9013 and he was wandering for 35 years until YNG-TSONG

9014 from one hiding place to another.

9015 YONG LO did 20 years heavy police work

9016 To whom came an envoi from Bengal a.d. 1409

9017 And Malacca came into our Empire, a.d. 1415

9018 And YANG LO commanded a 'summa'

9019 that is that the gist of the books be corrected.

9020 And Mahamou sent in tribute of horses.

9021 GIN TSONG was ten months on the throne

9022 Under tartars had all gone feudal. And in 1430 was peace

[Page 312]
9023 Came YNG-TSONG a child of eight years,

9024 eunuchs as wet-rot in the palace

9025 HONG VOU restored Imperial order

9026 yet now came again eunuchs, taozers and hochang

9027 Armourers worked day and night

9028 YUKIEN burnt the forage round Pekin

9029 against tartar horses

9030 this was in days of KING TI

9031 Fan-kuang took burning arrows

9032 and lances of the sort that one throws

9033 Yésien, Péyen, Tiémour came up under the walls at Pekin

9034 Che-heng and Yukien were defenders

9035 'no longer amused by their promises'

9036 In '52 was Emperor's grain ration

9037 for famine in Honan, for famine in Shantung

9038 a million six hundred thousand measures of grain

9039 And for war they made 15 foot carrochs

9040 with a case slung below for provisions

9041 (vide Valturio)

9042 and a cannon to forrard, a turret bordered with lances

9043 we had a thousand such carrochs

9044 counting they wd/ fill a field of four li

9045 and these were never brought into action

9046 a.d. 1459 Died Yukien the restorer, that had so vile a reward

9047 by his own hand, in prison.

9048 Ché-heng turned to magicians

9049 a man full of himself.

9050 Now were the new maps published. There was a rebellion

9051 of eunuchs

9052 HIEN TSONG the idolater did posthumous honour to Yukien

9053 decreed Kungfutseu was an Emperor

9054 to be so held in all rites,

9055 Drove out the taozers and hochang

9056 yet for one eunuch, Hoai-ngan, one might forgive many

9057 eunuchs
[Page 313]
9058 Tho' they tried a star chamber

9059 and held it all of four years

9060 till HIEN TSONG removed them.

9061 another Lord seeking elixir

9062 seeking the transmutation of metals

9063 seeking a word to make change

9064 [Image]
9065 HOAI of SUNG was nearly ruined by taozers

9066 HIEN of TANG died seeking elixir

9067 and in '97 they made a law code

9068 a bear walked into Pekin unnoticed

9069 though they strafed the watch for allowing it

9070 and there were 53 million folk in the Empire

9071 at tribute average of five measures

9072 of, say, 100 lbs each


9074 were more than all other Emperors

9075 Laoist and foéist, and came both to an evil end.

9076 To hell with the pyramid

9077 YAO and SHUN lived without any such monument

9078 TCHEOU KONG and Kungfutseu certainly wd/ not have

9079 ordered one

9080 nor will it lengthen YR MAJESTY'S days

9081 It will shorten the lives of YR subjects

9082 they will, many of 'em, die under new taxes.'

9083 Died HIAO TSONG aged 36, after peace and his 18 years a.d. 1505

9084 on the throne

9085 And 8 bloody eunuchs conspired with Lieu,
[Page 314]
9086 thunderbolt fell, naturally, on the palace

9087 From HONG VOU were an hundred and forty years

9088 till now OU TSONG, a minor,

9089 and 140 would be till the MANCHU, new mongol.

9090 And when Lieou-kin the castrat was arrested

9091 they found in his buildings:

9092 gold bars 240 thousand, of about 10 tael each

9093 15 millions in money

9094 5 million bars silver, of about 50 tael each

9095 2 measures of unset jewels

9096 thus shaking the Emperor's confidence

9097 In 1512 came 'bachelors men', that were horse thieves.

9098 Died OU TSONG the lazy

9099 And the Empress chose CHI-TSONG successor

9100 who was son (aîné) of the second son of the Emperor


9102 he was a writer of verses,

9103 in fact he said he wd/ like to resign

9104 and she (TCHANG CHI) told them to lay hold of Kiang-ping

9105 and they found in his cellarage

9106 70 caskets of gold

9107 2 thousand 200 caskets of silver

9108 500 caskets of mixed

9109 400 great plates, gold and silver

9110 not to count silk of the first grade, pearls,

9111 cut stones and jewels

9112 Came again Mansour the tartar

9113 and tartars said they wanted a market for horses

9114 Jap sailors drove chinks to embargo

9115 'no trade save with our regnicoles'

9116 And were five planets in the constellation of Yng-che

9117 a.d. 1536 CHI-TSONG did rites at the MING tombs

9118 on Mt Tien-cheou

9119 Japs burnt the salt works at Hai men

[Page 315]
9120 Oua-chi led troops against them

9121 who called themselves 'wolves of our Lady'

9122 And Japs feared only this lady Oua-chi

9123 Pirates almost took Fou-kien.

[Page 316]


9124 Sinbu put order in Sun land, Nippon, in the beginning

9125 of all things

9126 where were DAI till Shogun Joritomo

9127 These Dai were of heaven descended, so saying.

9128 Gods were their forebears. Till the Shogun

9129 or crown general put an end to internal wars

9130 And DAI were but reges sacrificioli after this time

9131 in Miaco, with formalities

9132 wearing gold-flowered robes.

9133 At each meal was a new clay dish for their service

9134 'Descended from Ten Seo DAISIN

9135 that had reigned for a million years.'

9136 All these lords say they are of heaven descended

9137 and they ran into debt to keep up appearance

9138 they were there busy with sciences, poetry, history

9139 dancing, in Miaco, and music, playing at jeu de paume and

9140 escrime

9141 with a garrison to keep watch on 'em

9142 and to keep 'em from interfering with business.

9143 So came a 'butler to a person of quality'

9144 Messire Undertree

9145 a slave, in Sa Mo a fish-vendor

9146 a stud-keeper,

9147 that made war on Corea

9148 and was called WAR GOD post mortem

9149 And because of the hauteur of

9150 Portagoose prelates, they drove the Xtians out of Japan

9151 till were none of that sect in the Island

9152 a.d. 1578 And in the 5th moon of the 20th year of OUAN LI

9153 with ships new conditioned

9154 Messire Undertree went against the Lord Lipan

9155 boozing king of Korea

[Page 317]
9156 and four towns opened their gates to the Nippons

9157 and he, Undertree, came to Pinyang the chief city

9158 destroying the royal tombs

9159 and the Koreans ran yowling to China

9160 seeking help of the emperor OUAN LI

9161 At this time were 'the pirates incorporate'

9162 Ku ching the imperial tutor said: I was seduced

9163 by imposters

9164 CHIN SONG had come aged 10 to the throne

9165 And on t'other side was the question of horse fairs, and tartars

9166 of whom were Nutché or savage,

9167 these traded at Kaiyuen

9168 and the other great hordes, Pe and Nan-koan

9169 that were beyond the great wall fighting each other

9170 and the Nutché gave refuge to mongols

9171 when the mongrels were driven from China by MING lords

9172 and they were so poor they were driven to peddling

9173 ginseng, beaver pelts horse hair

9174 and fur of martes zibbeline

9175 seven such hordes united, and drave MING before them

9176 But Nutché of Nankoen, first fought the wild Nutché

9177 in the 4th year of Suen Te

9178 They stopped paying tribute 1430 or thereabouts

9179 and a diplomat said to the Tartars:

9180 You have lost yr/ market for ginseng

9181 you have lost horse fairs

9182 by fighting each other.

9183 And on t'other side, was Undertree making war in Korea

9184 and Père Ricci brought a clock to the Emperor

9185 that was set in a tower

9186 And Ku Tchang wasn't safe, even buried,

9187 Court ladies in cabal, gangsters set to defame him.

9188 till his son hanged himself from the worry.
[Page 318]
9189 And the eunuchs of Tientsin brought Père Mathieu to court

9190 where the Rites answered:

9191 Europe has no bonds with our empire

9192 and never receives our law

9193 As to these images, pictures of god above and a virgin

9194 they have little intrinsic worth. Do gods rise boneless to heaven

9195 that we shd/ believe your bag of their bones?

9196 The Han Yu tribunal therefore considers it useless

9197 to bring such novelties into the PALACE,

9198 we consider it ill advised, and are contrary

9199 to receiving either these bones or père Mathieu.

9200 The emperor CHIN TSONG received him.

9201 ten thousand brave men, ten thousand

9202 desperate sieges

9203 like bells or a ghazel

9204 treacheries, and romances,

9205 and now the bull tanks didn't work

9206 from the beginning of China, great generals, faithful adherents,

9207 To echo, desperate sieges, sell outs

9208 bloody resistance, and now the bull tanks didn't work

9209 sieges from the beginning of time until now.

9210 sieges, court treasons and laziness.

9211 Against order, lao, bhud and lamas,

9212 night clubs, empresses' relatives, and hoang miao,

9213 poisoning life with mirages, ruining order; TO KALON

9214 And Ti Koen heard cries from the forest

9215 whence came the bull tanks

9216 came great cars built like ships fifteen feet high

9217 by a hundred, three deckers.

9218 carried on great wheels of stone

9219 drawn each by an hundred or more hundred oxen

9220 But Tchu-yé and his men

9221 made their sortie

9222 Cast petards that frightened the oxen,

[Page 319]
9223 thereby war cars were turned over.

9224 and Tchu-yé's men slaughtered the siegers

9225 HOAI TSONG fell before tartars, 5 ly from Tsunhoa

9226 TAI TSONG of Manchu took them the law from China

9227 forbad manchus marry their sisters

9228 Yellow belt for the Emperor

9229 red belt for the princess of blood

9230 Told all to cut off their pig tails

9231 and south Ming had to fear more from rottenness inside

9232 than from the Manchu north and north east.

9233 Li koen viceroy had spent all this money, not paying the

9234 troops

9235 who turned bandit.

9236 And the Lord of MANCHU wrote to the MING lord saying:

9237 We took arms against oppression

9238 and from fear of oppression

9239 not that we wish to rule over you

9240 When in Suen fou I met with YR officers

9241 I sacrificed on this oath, a black bull to earth

9242 a white horse to the Spirit of Heaven

9243 although they were quite subordinate officers

9244 I did this from respect to YR PERSON

9245 as peace oath

9246 to show that we wanted peace

9247 Whereto all my actions have tended

9248 I offered to extradite criminals

9249 to give back droves stolen

9250 And to this offer I had no answer

9251 I don't mean no proper answer

9252 I had no answer whatever

9253 And Kong Yeou came to join TAI TSONG

9254 and Tai sent an hetman to greet this Kong, rebel,

9255 who came with boats arms munitions and furniture,

9256 an hundred thousand folk came with Kong Yeou

[Page 320]
9257 And TAI TSONG said: No tartars favoured of heaven

9258 have stayed boxed within their own customs

9259 Moguls took letters from lamas

9260 I a free lord without overlord

9261 will adopt such law as I like, in my right to adopt it

9262 I take letters from China

9263 which is not to say that I take orders from any man

9264 I take laws, but not orders.

9265 Thereafter he graded his officers

9266 Aba tchan, Maen tchan, Tihali tchan

9267 on mandarin system

9268 and four more islands came to him

9269 and he TAI set exams in the Chinese manner

9270 for 16 bachelors, first class

9271 31 bachelors, seconds, and 181 thirds

9272 and he made a Berlitz, Manchu, chinese and mongul

9273 and gave prizes, and camped next year Kourbang tourha

9274 Here Mongrels came to him, and thence into China southward

9275 by gorges

9276 the gorges of Ho-che near Ton,

9277 and by Tai chen gorge west of Taitong

9278 naming Chensi as next place of muster

9279 (TAI TSONG, son of TAI TSOU, ruling from Mougden)

9280 1625/35

9281 Chose learning from Yao, Shun and Kungfutseu,

9282 from Yu leader of waters.

9283 And in the seventh moon this monarch of Tartary

9284 coming near unto Suen-hoa-fou wrote to the governor:

9285 Your sovran treats me as enemy

9286 without asking what forces my action

9287 you are, indeed, subjects of a great realm

9288 but the larger that empire, the more shd/ it strive toward peace

9289 If children are cut off from parents

9290 if wives can not see their husbands

9291 if yr houses are devast and your riches carried away
[Page 321]
9292 this is not of me but of mandarins

9293 Not I but yr/ emperor slaughters you

9294 and yr/ overlords who take no care of yr/ people

9295 and count soldiers as nothing.

9296 And toward the end of the 8th moon

9297 Tengyun sent in dispatches: I have beaten the tartars

9298 I have slaughtered great numbers. Which he had not.

9299 Whereup TAI TSONG wrote him: I will send a thousand

9300 to meet any ten thousand

9301 If you fear to risk that, send a thousand

9302 I will meet them with an hundred

9303 Hoping this will teach you not to lie to your Emperor.

9304 And after the next raid offered peace.

9305 And after vain waiting an answer

9306 His tartar folk again asked him to be Emperor

9307 and he said: If the King of Corea accepts me

9308 Whereon the Tartars wrote the King of Korea:


9310 18 great lords of our banners to the King of Corea

9311 As heaven appears to desire it

9312 we accept our King to be Emperor

9313 having begged him to take this mandate.

9314 The Mogul princes have joined us

9315 HONG VOU brought the land under one rule

9316 Before him the Kin were united

9317 and after them was YUEN, entirety

9318 And the Mongols wrote to Corea:

9319 49 PRINCES MOGUL; to the King of Corea

9320 200 years under MING

9321 and now turn against them

9322 because of the crimes of their mandarins

9323 we join Manchu to make end of oppression

9324 The weakness of the Ming troops, the faithlessness

9325 of their commanders

[Page 322]
9326 show that their MANDATE is fallen

9327 we now recognize TAI TSONG of MANCHU

9328 Our blood in his service

9329 For two years we have besought him to take IMPERIAL title

9330 Four hundred thousand Mogul, their quivers and arrows

9331 are back of this.

9332 And Corea replied in the negative

9333 And next year TAI TSONG took throne

9334 third moon, 1635 anno domini

9335 Put the three races in office

9336 as moguls after Ghengis had not done

9337 and continued the raiding ...

9338 round Peking, into Shantung (gallice Chantong)

9339 and into Kiangnan, returning with plunder.

9340 Thus until Ousan invited them to put down the rebels.

9341 Rice was at one mark silver the measure

9342 in Kaï fong

9343 and human meat sold in market

9344 Litse's gangsters over all Honan

9345 Li Sao: weep, weep over Kaïfong; Kientsong the bloody

9346 and Litse called himself Emperor

9347 Ming troops were unpaid

9348 Eunuchs devoured the taxes; the Prime minister

9349 could not get hold of them

9350 And the castrats opened the gates of Pekin to rebels

9351 till HOEI died hung in his belt

9352 and there was blood in the palace. Li Sao; Li Sao,

9353 wrong never ending

9354 Likoue: faithful to death, and then after

9355 and in this day Ousan asked in the Manchu

9356 TAI TSONG was dead these two years;

9357 his brothers ruling as counsel.

9358 Atrox MING, atrox finis

9359 the nine gates were in flame.

[Page 323]
9360 Manchu with Ousan put down many rebels

9361 Ousan offered to pay off these Manchu

9362 who replied then with courtesy:

9363 we came for Peace not for payment.

9364 came to bring peace to the Empire

9365 in Pekin they cried OUAN SOUI

9366 a thousand, ten thousand years, A NOI

9367 eijen, ouan soui; Ousan, Ousan

9368 peace maker Ousan, in the river, reeds,

9369 flutes murmured Ousan

9370 Brought peace into China; brought in the Manchu

9371 Litse thought to gain Ousan,

9372 roused Ousan and Ousan

9373 remembered his father

9374 dead by the hand of Litse.

[Page 324]

9376 De libro CHI-KING sic censeo

9377 wrote the young MANCHU, CHUN TCHI,

9378 less a work of the mind than of affects

9379 brought forth from the inner nature

9380 here sung in these odes.

9381 Urbanity in externals, virtu in internals

9382 some in a high style for the rites

9383 some in humble;

9384 for Emperors; for the people

9385 all things are here brought to precisions

9386 that we shd/ learn our integrity

9387 that we shd/ attain our integrity

9388 Ut animum nostrum purget, Confucius ait, dirigatque

9389 ad lumen rationis

9390 perpetuale effecto/

9391 That this book keep us in due bounds of office

9392 the norm

9393 show what we shd/ take into action;

9394 what follow within and persistently

9395 CHI KING ostendit incitatque. Vir autem rectus

9396 et libidinis expers ita domine servat

9397 with faith, never tricky, obsequatur parentis

9398 nunquam deflectat

9399 all order comes into such norm

9400 igitur meis encomiis, therefor this preface

9401 CHUN TCHI anno undecesimo

9402 (a.d. 1655)

9403 periplum, not as land looks on a map

9404 but as sea bord seen by men sailing.

9405 Now tarters in the murk night

9406 sent great numbers of sojers with lanthorns

9407 which they held up very high
[Page 325]
9408 and thus spread light on proceedings

9409 causing great fear in Nanking.

9410 so the last mingsters fled out by the Tchinkiang road.

9411 And the ammiral put to sea thinking perhaps that

9412 a few minutes more resistance

9413 wd/ be of no mortal use.

9414 And on the tenth came an officer

9415 to say that the port was in tartar hands

9416 But MiLord the Prince and his eating companions

9417 were in no shape to take in the message

9418 They weren't sober till the following midnight

9419 whereon they skedaddled

9420 And the Nankings set up a new emperora.d. 1645

9421 And the order to off pigtails stiffened resistance

9422 put new guts into mingsters

9423 Kouei born to ill fortune

9424 no mingster cd/ trust any other; cd/ agree with any six others

9425 utilité publique, motif trop élevé

9426 for vile courtiers

9427 and when the young MANCHU was 14 they gave him to

9428 wife a mogul

9429 and took in Galileo's astronomy,

9430 chucked the mohametan

9431 And there came a hong-mao or red-headed Dutchman

9432 And the portagoose to Macao

9433 and they say that the Emperor CHUN TCHI

9434 died of sorrow, for the death of one of his queens

9435 an officer's wife who had risen.

9436 And the four regents put eunuchs out of high office

9437 a thousand purged out of palace

9438 and a half ton block of iron inscribed

9439 Let there be no Eunuch in office hereafter.

9440 And in '64 they putt out the Xtians

9441 Portageese were confined to Macao

9442 Thus KANG HI
[Page 326]
9443 who played the spinet on Johnnie Bach's birthday

9444 do not exaggerate/ he at least played on some such instrument

9445 and learned to pick out several tunes (european)

9446 and were demarked the borders of Russia

9447 with a portagoose and a frog priest to interpret

9448 to whom each a robe brocaded with dragons

9449 but not embroidered

9450 and short coats of martin, satin lining, gold buttons

9451 Pereira and Gerbillon

9452 made mandarins second order

9453 And that embassy went out via Mt Paucity

9454 and paid visit to the ho fo, the lama who dies not

9455 as he sat on a pair of great cushions

9456 one brocade and the other plain yellow

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