THE OLD HARP
Of cord and cassia-wood is the harp compounded:
Within it lie ancient melodies.
Ancient melodies — weak and savourless,
Not appealing to present men's taste.
Light and colour are faded from the jade stops :
Dust has covered the rose-red strings.
Decay and ruin came to it long ago,
But the sound that is left is still cold and clear.
I do not refuse to play it, if you want me to :
But even if I play, people will not listen.
How did it come to be neglected so?
Because of the Ch'iang flute and the Ch'in flageolet.'
' Barbarous modern instruments.