ON A BOX CONTAINING HIS OWN WORKS
I BREAK UP cypress and make a book-box ;
The box well-made, — and the cypress-wood tough.
In it shall be kept what author's works?
The inscription says PO LO-T'IEN.
All my life has been spent in writing books,
From when I was young till now that I am old.
First and last, — seventy whole volumes;
Big and little, — three thousand themes.^
Well I know in the end they'll be scattered and lost;
But I cannot bear to see them thrown away.
With my own hand I open and shut the locks,
And put it carefully in front of the book-curtain.
I am like Teng Pai-tao ; '
But to-day there is not any Wang Ts'an.'
All I can do is to divide them among my daughters
To be left by them to give to my grandchildren.
* I.e., separate poems, essays, etc.
* N'k'ho was obliged to abandon his only child on the roadside.
* Who rescued a foundling.