出处徐谓《路史》千里送鹅毛,礼轻情意重。
释义: 比喻礼物虽轻而情意深厚。

有一个地方官,偶然得到了一只稀有的飞禽-天鹅,便派一位名叫缅伯高的心腹拿去向皇帝进贡。缅伯高抱着天鹅,走到潘阳湖边时,忽然觉得应该停下来给天鹅洗个澡,就小心翼翼地将 天鹅放入水中。不料,天鹅却振翅飞走了,只掉下—根鹅毛。缅伯高没有办法去捉,只好拿着这根鹅毛面见皇帝。

缅伯高害怕皇帝处罚自己,就编了一首顺口溜,大意是这样的:“我来向您朝贡,经过了万水千 山,可到了潘阳湖时天鹅飞走了;我悲痛欲绝,今天上复天子,请您饶了缅伯高。再说,千里送鹅毛,礼轻情意重。”皇帝听后,饶了缅伯高。

Origin of the proverb is from "Travel History": Sending a swan feather from a thousand miles, though the gift may be light but the feelings are deep.
Interpretation:The gift is small but affectionate.

There was a local official who by chance got a rare bird - a swan, so he sent a trusted aide named Mian Bo Gao to take it to the emperor as tribute. As Mian Bo Gao was carrying the swan, when he arrived at the Pan Yang Lake, suddenly he felt that he should stop to give the swan a bath, so he carefully placed the swan into the water. Suddenly, the swan spread its wings and flew away, leaving behind only a single feather. Mian Bo Gao had no way to catch it, so he could only take the swan feather to see the emperor.

Mian Bo Gao feared that the emperor would punish him, so he compiled a jingle, which in effect is this: "I came to give tribute to you, after crossing a thousand mountains and rivers, but at the Pan Yang Lake the swan flew away; I am very saddened, now standing before the Son of Heaven, I plead for forgiveness for myself. Besides, I am sending a swan feather from a thousand miles, though the gift may be light but the feelings are deep." After the emperor listened to this, he spared Mian Bo Gao.