THE PEOPLE OF TAO-CHOU
In the land of Tao-chou
Many of the people are dwarfs ;
The tallest of them never grow to more than three feet.
They were sold in the market as dwarf slaves and yearly sent to Court;
Described as "an offering of natural products from the land of Tao-chou."
A strange "offering of natural products"; I never heard of one yet
That parted men from those they loved, never to meet again!
Old men — weeping for their grandsons ; mothers for their children !
One day — Yang Ch'eng came to govern the land ;
He refused to send up dwarf slaves in spite of incessant mandates.
He replied to the Emperor " Your servant finds in the Six Canonical Books
' In offering products, one must offer what is there, and not what isn't there '
On the waters and lands of Tao-chou, among all the things that live
I only find dwarfish people ; no dwarfish slaves."
The Emperor's heart was deeply moved and he sealed and sent a scroll
"The yearly tribute of dwarfish slaves is henceforth annulled." The people of Tao-chou,
Old ones and young ones, how great their joy!
Father with son and brother with brother henceforward kept together;
From that day for ever more they lived as free men.
The people of Tao-chou
Still enjoy this gift.
And even now when they speak of the Governor.
Tears start to their eyes.
And lest their children and their children s children should forget the Governor's name,
When boys are born the syllable "Yang" is often used in their forename.