Faithful Birds

Quail goes rush rush,
Magpie goes brush brush.
This man’s a
lush,
Yet I’m his
brother?
Quail goes rush rush,
Magpie goes brush brush.
This woman’s a
mush,
Yet I’m her husband?
The
poem describes how faithful the quails and magpies are with their mates, the
sound imitating how they fly after one another in pairs. In contrast, the
narrator is lamenting the faithlessness of his younger brother and of his wife.



Original Chinese
Traditional
Simplified
Pronunciation
鶉之奔奔
之奔奔
chún
zhī bēn bēn
鶉之奔奔,
之奔奔,
chún
zhī bēn bēn
鵲之畺畺。
之畺畺
què
zhī jiāng jiāng
人之無良,
人之无良,
rén
zhī wú liáng
我以為兄?
我以兄?

yǐ wéi xiōng
鵲之畺畺,
之畺畺,
què
zhī jiāng jiāng
鶉之奔奔。
之奔奔。
chún
zhī bēn bēn
人之無良,
人之无良,
rén
zhī wú liáng
我以為君?
我以君?

yǐ wéi jūn
Translation Notes
鶉之奔奔
Quail
’s Rush Rush
鶉之奔奔,
Quail ’s rush rush,
鵲之畺畺。
Magpie
’s border border.
人之無良,
Person
’s no good,
我以為兄?
I
therefore am elder-brother?
[Therefore
am = to think, to consider, to be under the impression]
鵲之畺畺,
Magpie ’s boundary boundary,
鶉之奔奔。
Quail
’s rush rush.
人之無良,
Person
’s no good,
我以為君?
I
therefore am lord?



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