Tri-Meter Classic Prose in New Luoyang | World Anvil
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Tri-Meter Classic

People when born,
Always are good,
Same heart born,
Yet ways differ.

But when abandoned,
Manners are lost,
So teach them,
Manners and grace.

Jade lying unpolished,
Has no shine,
People without knowledge,
Don't know right.

As a child,
Don't waste time,
With friends n' teachers,
Manners and grace.

Learn your family,
Learn your senses,
Learn your numbers,
Learn your words.

One to ten,
ten to hundred,
hundred to thousand,
thousand to ten thousand.

The three forces:
heaven, earth and man.
The three lights:
sun, moon and stars.

Love and respect:
Sovereign and subject,
Parent and child,
Husband and wife.

Spring and summer,
Fall and winter,
The four seasons
Go in order.

Benevolence and duty,
propriety, wisdom, truth.
These five virtues
heart of all.

Thrice-great-grandfather, twice-great-grandfather, grandfather,
father and self,
self and child,
child and grandchild,

Beyond those still,
great grandchild and great great grandchild.
All nine lines
of one's consanguinity.

Parent loves child,
Husband loves wife,
Elder brothers care,
Younger brothers respect.

Ordered by age,
equally brothers-in-arms,
Respect from sovereigns,
loyalty from subjects.

This is indeed
Nature of things.

Others leave behind,
Gold for children,
But I'd rather
Give you knowledge.

Work has reward,
Play not much,
Watch yourselves,
Always stay strong.

A literary translation of the same poem from Mandarin. It describes philosophical beliefs about the nature of humans, namely that they are all innately inclined to be good. It also answers where evil comes from if people are innately good, that evil comes from ignorance rather than direct intent.

The copy listed here does not have many historical references to Chinese dynasties, as it is meant to be used for general reading. As a result, it is heavily abridged.

It still retains the traditional values that a typical Chinese family would like to impart. Those are familial loyalty, diligence, friendship, and compassion.

As for the ideal family composition, the poets who contributed all believe that where possible, a family should consist of parents who care about their children and do their best to make them useful members of society.


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