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Bound Chickens
(by Du Fu, 712-770 BCE)
My little servant bound the chickens
ready to take to market;
the birds, resenting such harsh handling,
flapped their wings and cackled.
My family has little regard for chickens,
blames them for eating ants,
forgetting the birds will soon be boiled
after their heads are severed.
What right have we to take a side
when ants and chickens fight?
I call to the boy, "Let them go -
I want those birds unshackled."
The old dispute between chickens and ants
never will have an end;
leaning against the barn on the hill,
I gaze on the cold river.
in Chinese, for the sake of the aesthetic:
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