O owl , O owl ,
You have taken my young ones ; —
Do not [also] destroy my nest .
With love and with toil ,
I nourished them . — I am to be pitied .
Before the sky was dark with rain ,
I gathered the roots of the mulberry tree ,
And bound round and round my window and door .
Now ye people below ,
Dare any of you despise my house ?
With my claws I tore and held .
Through the rushes which I gathered ,
And all the materials I collected ,
My mouth was all sore ; —
I said to myself , ’ I have not yet got my house complete . ‘
My wings are all-injured ;
My tail is all-broken ;
My house is in a perilous condition ;
It is tossed about in the wind and rain : —
I can but cry out with this note of alarm .
The poem 鴟鴞 or Owl from the Odes of Bin 豳風, in the Shijing or Book of Songs 詩經, the earliest existing collection of classical Chinese poetry. The entire collection is comprised of 305 poems, and “The Owl” is thought to be the oldest amongst them, written by the Duke of Zhou dated to the Western Zhou period (1046-771 BCE).@2 years ago with 23 notes
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