By ages united to mighty rocks shall grow

zzzwor

Senior Member
chinese
Thousands of years of happy reign be thine;
Rule on, my lord, until what are pebbles now
By ages united to mighty rocks shall grow
Whose venerable sides the moss doth line.

This is the English translation of Japanese anthem.
I have some questions:
1. "Whose" is used to modify pebble or rocks?
2. It should be "By ages united," or "By ages, united to"?
3. What is the subject to "shall grow"?
 
  • Starless74

    Senior Member
    Italiano
    My (non-poetic) interpretation:
    1) "whose" is referred to the mighy rocks, the venerable sides of which are lined with moss.
    3) subject of "shall grow" is "what are pebbles now": united by ages, they shall grow to [become] mighty rocks etc.
    ...which answers to 2) as well. :)

    a (very bad) prose rendition may sound like this:

    may your reign be one of happiness and last a thousand years.
    Rule on, my lord, until what is now just pebbles
    - united by ages - will grow to [become] mighty rocks,
    the venerable sides of which are lined with moss.​
     
    Last edited:

    Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    1. "Whose" is used to modify pebble or rocks?
    The rocks. After the pebbles form rocks by adhering to each other with time, moss will start lining the sides of the rocks.
    2. It should be "By ages united," or "By ages, united to"?
    3. What is the subject to "shall grow"?
    These are separate questions requiring separate threads but I've probably answered the third too.
     
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