A Continuous Story

Overlook the horizon, stroll in the sky, years in the couplet circles without evening and morning
Straight through the bridge, transversely walk above the head, wind and clouds online with ancient and modern days
Chat in wine, a continuous story, at the rain night lean upon a balustrade to listen to rain
Pour out homesickness, fiery provincialism, literati grasp beautiful scenes to intoxicate the humanity

对联体 ● 十五绝罗志海著译
Two Pairs of Couplets ● Fifteen Words of Quatrain by Luo Zhihai

◆ Chinese Text



by Luo Zhihai

Comments (5)

I have imagined this to be the testimony of one who was there at the Malamute Saloon and witnessed, first hand, the events that unfolded that night. In the pioneer days when a gunfight took place, there was at least one corpse to be properly dealt with and in this case there were two. There was money needed for the different professionals, who were in charge of corpse disposition. Possibly the saloon owner had some money coming to clear up the bar tab or maybe some property damages from the gun fight. The funds for all these expenses were generally taken from rifling the deadman's pockets and the sheriff or Mountie would gather all the assets and disperse the cash or gold to the claimants. I think, this story could very well be Robert Service's rendering of an event that actually happened. The lady that's known as Lou was obviously a prostitute who was playing both men for what she could get from them, to abscond with one or the other's money after one had killed the other. As luck would have it she got more than she thought she would get. I can picture her scarfing up Dan Mcgrew's money when the gunfight broke out, then, rushing to the dead body of the miner, who, by the way, loved her, and with crocodile tears flowing, she grabbed all the pokes of dust from him also. When the local mountie checked the pockets and found nothing, there were accusations made and and an inquisition of some sort was held at the local courthouse...after all, somebody knew where the money went and that person was the observer who told the story...maybe it was Robert Service himself. The figures mentioned in the story were a bunch of the boys , the ragtime kid, Dan, The Miner, the lady that's known as Lou and the one who told the story..The one who ought to Know. I know there is some sort of animated video of this poem but, this story, as almost all of Robert Service's poems, could be made into a feature length movie or serial, using Robert's vivid descriptions of life as he saw it. I am waiting anxiously for Netflix to produce such a serial production.
I've loved this poem for years, but it has a misprint here. Fifth verse, last line should have HUNCH instead of HAUNCH.
Terrific! I love a poem with great cadence and narrative.
Immaculate..... each word begged the next - each line a metered masterpiece!
Shouldn't that be then you've a HUNCH what the music meant instead of haunch?