Long Ode to Watching Weiqi
Long Ode to Watching Weiqi (观棋长吟) by Shao Yong (邵雍)
In a quiet courtyard in the spring, with evening's light filtering through the leaves,
guests relax on the veranda and watch as two compete at wéiqí.
Each calls into themselves the divine and the infernal, sculpting mountains and rivers into their world.
Across the board, dragons and serpents array for battle, geese scatter as collapsing fortresses are sacked;
masses die, pushed into pits by Qin's soldiers, and the drama's audience is left in awe of its General Jin.
To sit at the board is to raise halberd and taste combat, to endure the freezing and brave the flames in the constant changes;
life and death each will come to both masters, but victory and defeat must each go to one.
On this road, one strips away the other's disguises, in life, one must erect one's own facade;
dreadful is a wound to the exposed belly or heart, merely painful is an injury to the face, which can be cured;
Effective is a blow that strikes home in an opponent's back, successful are schemes that use repeated feints and deceit.
Look at the activity on the streets of our capital, if you were to go elsewhere, wouldn't it be the same?
by Shao Yong (1011-1077).