Tao Yuanming: Instructions For My Son: Part 1

Instructions For My Son: Part 1

命 子
悠 悠 我 祖
爰 自 陶 唐。
邈 焉 虞 宾
历 世 重 光。
御 龙 勤 夏
豕 韦 翼 商。
穆 穆 司 徒
厥 族 以 昌。
纷 纷 战 国
漠 漠 衰 周。
凤 隐 于 林
幽 人 在 邱。
逸 虬 绕 云
奔 鲸 骇 流。
天 集 有 汉
眷 予 愍 侯。
於 赫 愍 侯
远 当 攀 龙。
抚 剑 风 迈
显 兹 武 功。
书 誓 山 河
启 士 开 封。
斖 斖 丞 相
允 迪 前 踪。
Ming Zi

You you wo zu
Yuan zi tao tang.
Miao yan yu bin
Li shi chong guang.

Yu long qin xia
Shi wei yi shang.
Mu mu si tu
Jue zu yi chang.

Fen fen zhan guo
Mo mo shuai zhou.
Feng yin yu lin
You ren zai qiu.

Yi qiu rao yun
Ben jing hai liu.
Tian ji you han
Juan yu min hou.

Wu he min hou
Yuan dang pan long.
Fu jian feng mai
Xian zi wu gong.

Shu shi shan he
Qi shi kai feng.
Wei wei cheng xiang
Yun di qian zong.

Instructions for My Son: Part 1

Our ancestors go way back in time and breadth
Originally from Shandong, they migrated to the city of Tang in Hubei.
They followed the fortunes of the Shun clan into decline
Only to recover their honor and glory.

During the reign of Emperor Yulong, our ancestors did government
work in the Xia court
Once again they advanced with the imperial family.
With handsome countenances the jobs were secured
This led our clan to prosper and flourish.

Ah, but then one after another wars broke out
The smaller nation states became weaker and weaker.
Like the phoenix they hid in the forests
Our people went into mountain seclusion .

Though hidden away, clouds continued to coil and revolve like dragon
Fleeing whales frightened and shocked.
With Heaven’s help, the Han Dynasty was formed
Our ancestors were there to help again.

Consider now my distinguished and noble grandfather
During his life he ascended to serve the Han emperors.
With sword in hand, what a strong style and appearance
A display of someone with high military rank.

Written imperial decree gave him large tracts of mountains and rivers
Including the governorship and land grants in the city of Kaifang.
Working very hard as a high level minister
He was an example of fairness and justice.



Shandong: Coastal province north of Shanghai

Yulong (Shun): One of the Five Legendary rulers ca. 2600-2070 BC

Xia Dynasty: 2070-1600 BC

Han Dynasty: 206 BC-220 AD

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