Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE COCK-FIGHT, by TS'AO CHIH



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE COCK-FIGHT, by            
First Line: Our wandering eyes are sated with the dancer's skill
Last Line: "then I shall not leave without winning the match!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Tzu-chien
Subject(s): China - Middle Ages (600 B.c.- 618 A.d.); Cock-fighting


OUR wandering eyes are sated with the dancer's skill,
Our ears are weary with the sound of "kung" and "shang."
Our host is silent and sits doing nothing:
All the guests go on to places of amusement.

On long benches the sportsmen sit ranged
Round a cleared room, watching the fighting-cocks.
The gallant birds are all in battle-trim:
They raise their tails and flap defiantly.
Their beating wings stir the calm air:
Their angry eyes gleam with a red light.
Where their beaks have struck, the fine feathers are scattered:
With their strong talons they wound again and again.
Their long cries enter the blue clouds;
Their flapping wings tirelessly beat and throb.
"Pray God the lamp-oil lasts a little longer,
Then I shall not leave without winning the match!"





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