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Chinese poem illustration: 小雅 四牡/ Xiaoya – Four Horses by Anonymous

Full video also available at Bilibili: 小雅 四牡

One of the three most recited and sung poems by Zhou people(鹿鸣, 四牡, 皇皇者华), as they were the songs to be played in a grand party per code of conduct of Zhou(周礼). Not like the other two happy songs, this poem is of sad feelings of homesick. It sounds a bit strange how could a sad song be played in a happy party, normally consist of music, dance, dining, drinking and shooting arrow game etc, while it definitely revealed the two ultimate subjects of Zhou people: wars and ancestors(国之大事, 在祀与戎).

This poem could be a typical three paragraphs poem of Shijing, the first, second and fifth paragraph consist of the three verses, and the third and fourth paragraph look like the chorus.

小雅 四牡
佚名

四牡騑騑,周道倭迟。
岂不怀归?王事靡盬,我心伤悲。

四牡騑騑,啴啴骆马。
岂不怀归?王事靡盬,不遑启处。

翩翩者鵻,载飞载下,集于苞栩。
王事靡盬,不遑将父。

翩翩者鵻,载飞载止,集于苞杞。
王事靡盬,不遑将母。

驾彼四骆,载骤骎骎。
岂不怀归?是用作歌,将母来谂。

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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