Small is the cooing dove, But it flies aloft to heaven. My heart is wounded with sorrow, And I think of our forefathers. When the dawn is breaking, and I cannot sleep, The thoughts in my breast are of our parents.
Men who are grave and wise, Though they drink, are mild and masters of themselves; But those who are benighted and ignorant Become devoted to drink, and more so daily. Be careful, each of you, of your deportment; What Heaven confers, (when once lost), is not regained 1.
The greenbeaks come and go, Picking up grain about the stackyard. Alas for the distressed and the solitary, Deemed fit inmates for the prisons! With a handful of grain I go out and divine 2, How I may be able to become good.
359:1 'What Heaven confers' is, probably, the good human nature which by vice, and especially by drunkenness, may be irretrievably ruined.
359:2 A religious act is here referred to, on which we have not sufficient information to be able to throw much light. It was the practice to spread some finely ground rice on the ground, in connexion with divination, as an offering to the spirits. The poet represents himself here as using a handful of grain for the purpose,--probably on account of his poverty.