This is a very rough translation and annotation of the poem 戲子由 (Xì Zǐyóu), ‘Teasing Zi You’, by the Song Dynasty Chinese poet 蘇軾 (Sū Shì).
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戲子由 Xì Zǐyóu [game] [Zi] [You] Teasing Zi You
宛丘先生長如丘， Wǎn Qiū xiānshēng cháng rú qiū, [Wan] [Qiu] [mister] [long] [like] [hill] Mr Wan Qiu is as tall as a hill;
宛丘學舍小如舟。 Wǎn Qiū xué shě xiǎo rú zhōu. [Wan] [Qiu] [study] [residence] [small] [like] [boat] Wan Qiu's study quarters are as small as a boat.
常時低頭誦經史， Chángshí dītóu sòng jīng shǐ, [always] [often] [lower] [head] [read aloud] [classic] [history] He often lowers his head and reads aloud the classics and histories;
忽然欠伸屋打頭。 hūrán qiànshēn wū dǎ tóu. [sudden] [-ky] [stretch] [ceiling] [hit] [head] suddenly he extends his body and hits his head on the ceiling.
斜風吹帷雨註面， Xié fēngchuī wéi yǔ zhù miàn, [slanting] [wind] [blow] [canopy] [rain] [flow] [face] Slanting rain blows inside the curtains, rain flows onto his face;
先生不愧旁人羞。 xiānshēng bùkuì pángrén xiū. [mister] [not] [ashamed] [side] [person] [ashamed] Mister Wan Qiu is not ashamed whilst those around him are.
任從飽死笑方朔， Rèn cóng bǎo sǐ xiào Fāng Shuò, [responsible] [from] [satisfied] [die] [laugh] [Fang] [Shuo] Better to eat so much that one dies, and laugh at Fang Shuo; (Reference to a story in 《汉书·东方朔传》.)
肯為雨立求秦優。 kěn wèi yǔ lì qiú qín yōu. [willing] [be] [rain] [stand] [seek] [Qin] [You] one is willing to stand in the rain, rather than beseech Qin You. (Reference to a story in 《史记·滑稽列传》.)
眼前勃谿何足道， Yǎnqián bó xī hé zúdào, [eye] [in front] [argue] [what] [enough] [say] Before one's eyes they argue, how insignificant it is; (足道 = 微不足道.)
處置六鑿須天遊。 chǔzhì liùzáo xū tiānyóu. [deal with] [set up] [six] [emotions] [must] [heaven] [roam] to deal with the six emotions one must roam the heavens. (六鑿 comes from 《莊子·外物》. The six emotions are: 喜 joy、怒 anger、哀 sorrow、乐 happiness、爱 love and 恶 hatred.)
讀書萬卷不讀律， Dúshū wàn juǎn bù dú lǜ, [read] [book] [ten thousand] [scroll] [not] [read] [law] In his studies of ten thousand scrolls, he does not study the law;
致君堯舜知無術。 zhì jūn Yáo Shùn zhī wú shù. [cause] [lord] [Yao] [Shun] [know] [not have] [method] like the Lords Yao and Shun - their knowledge has no art.
勸農冠蓋鬧如雲， Quàn nóng guān gài nào rú yún, [encourage] [agriculture] [hat] [cover] [noisy] [like] [cloud] The officials promoting agriculture are rowdy like clouds;
送老齏鹽甘似蜜。 sòng lǎo jī yán gān shì mì. [carry] [old] [pickled vegetables] [salt] [sweet] [like] [honey] when caring for the elderly, pickled vegetables and salt are sweet like honey.
門前萬事不掛眼， Ménqián wànshì bù guà yǎn, [door] [in front] [ten thousand] [thing] [not] [hang] [eye] In front of his door, ten thousand things - none concern his eyes;
頭雖長低氣不屈。 tóu suī cháng dī qì bù qū. [head] [although] [long] [low] [energy] [not] [bent] although his head is tall and he is stooped, his spirit is not warped.
余杭別駕無功勞， Yú háng bié jià wú gōngláo, [my] [Hangzhou] [local magistrate] [not have] [service] [toil] As the local magistrate in Hangzhou, I have done no meritorious service,
畫堂五丈容旂旄。 huà táng wǔ zhàng róng qí máo. [paint] [hall] [five] [ten feet] [contain] [flag] [banner] yet my picture hall is fifty feet wide, containing flags and banners.
重樓跨空雨聲遠， Chóng lóu kuà kōng yǔ shēng yuǎn, [repeat] [building] [span] [empty] [rain] [sound] [far] In a storeyed building open and empty, the sound of the rain is distant;
屋多人少風騷騷。 wū duō rén shǎo fēng sāo sāo. [room] [many] [people] [few] [wind] [bother] [bother] the rooms are many and the people few, the sound of the wind is bothersome.
平生所慚今不恥， Píngshēng suǒ cán jīn bù chǐ, [all one's life] [that which] [ashamed] [today] [not] [embarrass] That which one was ashamed of all one's life - now one is not ashamed:
坐對疲氓更鞭箠。 zuò duì pí máng gèng biān chuí. [sit] [to] [weary] [commoner] [more] [whip] [flog] to the poor commoners one applies the whip some more.
道逢陽虎呼與言， Dào féng Yáng Hǔ hū yǔ yán, [road] [encounter] [Yang] [Hu] [call] [with] [speak] On the road one encounters Yang Hu, calling out to and speaking with him; (陽虎 = 阳货, someone Confucius despised.)
心知其非口諾唯。 xīn zhī qí fēi kǒu nuò wéi. [heart] [know] [his] [bad] [mouth] [yes] [yes] one's heart knows he is bad but one's mouth agrees with him. (諾唯 = 唯唯諾諾.)
居高忘下真何益， Jū gāo wàng xià zhēn hé yì, [occupy] [high] [forget] [low] [really] [what] [benefit] Occupying the high and forgetting the low - truly how is it beneficial?
氣節消縮今無幾。 qìjié xiāo suō jīn wújǐ. [spirit] [integrity] [disappear] [now] [not have] [much] One's moral integrity is fading - now one hardly has any.
文章小技安足程， Wénzhāng xiǎo jì ān zú chéng, [writing] [essay] [small] [skill] [how] [enough] [law] My small skill in literature - how can it fulfil order? (This is like 雕虫小技.)
先生別駕舊齊名。 xiānshēng bié jià jiù qímíng. [mister] [local magistrate] [old] [level with] [fame] You and I used to be equally famous.
如今衰老俱無用， Rújīn shuāilǎo jù wúyòng, [as] [today] [decline] [old] [entirely] [not have] [use] Now declining in old age, we are entirely useless;
付與時人分重輕。 fù yǔ shí rén fèn zhòng qīng. [hand over] [with] [time] [person] [separate] [heavy] [light] hand it over to the people of today to sort the serious from the frivolous.
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