This ‘poem’ is taken from the teachings of Chen Zi, a student of Confucius. It has been modified over the years; the most recent of which is the addition of the last four “five-character” lines, added in 1948 presumable after the founding of the Republic of China.
The poem reads from top to bottom, right to left. The literal meaning of the right head-ing is:
“CHEN assigned name words”
i.e for the CHEN families, the poem for the assigned names.
The CHEN family poem:
Hakka Mean-ing Fen woon gin son yen Seek out knowledge from all over. Hin yeuk chou gee gong Expand, develop and pass on all important knowledge. Sow hen kin fan seung Get together, multiply and celebrate all good fortunes. Lin det wee seun yeu Hand down the good teachings of your parents. Kin jow nyam hen young Aim high, and control your own destiny. Din sim hoi gok yeun Defend and maintain the family honour and reputation. Het fook jen gaa sang Don't dishonour your name. Gen tow soon on tin For security, build on a solid foundation. Fan soo sow yee seung Strive to reform or build on the present. Yee mun fon gin sui Use your good fortune and education to benefit your family. Yeun syack say see chong Everlasting prosperity for all generations.