Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK II.: THE ODES OF SHÂU AND THE SOUTH. * - The Shi King, the Old Poetry Classic of the Chinese
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BOOK II.: THE ODES OF SHÂU AND THE SOUTH. * - Misc (Confucian School), The Shi King, the Old “Poetry Classic” of the Chinese 
The Shi King, the Old “Poetry Classic” of the Chinese. A Close Metrical Translation, with Annotations by William Jennings (London: George Routledge and Sons, 1891).
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THE ODES OF SHÂU AND THE SOUTH.*
I. ii. 1.
THE WEDDING-JOURNEY OF A PRINCESS.
A REVERENT HELPMATE.*
I. ii. 3.
A LONG-ABSENT HUSBAND.
I. ii. 4.
THE YOUNG WIFE’S ZEALOUS CARE IN THE WORSHIP OF HER HUSBAND’S ANCESTORS.
I. ii. 5.
IN MEMORY OF A WORTHY CHIEFTAIN.
I. ii. 6.
THE RESISTED SUITOR.*
I. ii. 7.
DIGNITY AND ECONOMY OF KING WĂN’S COUNCILLORS.
I. ii. 8.
THE LONELY WIFE.*
I. ii. 9.
FEARS OF MATURE MAIDENHOOD.
I. ii. 10.
I. ii. 11.
I. ii. 12.
THE CUNNING HUNTER.‡
I. ii. 13.
A ROYAL WEDDING.
I. ii. 14.
THE TSOW YU.*
Note.—Although this is one of the shortest and apparently most trivial of the Odes in the Book of Poetry, it is credited by the Chinese editors with as much meaning as the largest. It is regarded, like so many more, as illustrating the extent of the reformation brought about by King Wăn. Not only was the kingdom better ruled, society better regulated, and individuals more self-disciplined and improved in manners, but the reformation affected all things: vegetation flourished, game became most abundant, hunting was attended to at the right seasons, and the benign influence of the King was everywhere felt by the people. The poet thinks it is sufficient to dwell upon these last characteristics. Probably the lines were written after some royal hunt.
[* ]Shâu was a feudal State west of the Chow of last Book, and adjoining it. Both together were originally one district, known as K‘i-Chow. “The South” refers to the lands south of Shâu.
[† ]The cockney rhyme must be pardoned; the words are a literal rendering.
[* ]The Ode is said to illustrate the influence of the reforms of King Wăn. The wife of a feudal prince is here praised for her diligence in preparing for her husband’s offerings in the ancestral temple.
[† ]The white southernwood.
[‡ ]Different seasons of the year are thus poetically referred to in the opening lines of each verse. The ferns were edible ones.
[* ]Further illustrating the reformations made by King Wăn. The women by the new rules are able to protect themselves against forcible seizure and marriage. Dr. Legge thus cites the account given by an ancient writer of the origin of these lines: “A lady of Shin was promised in marriage to a man of Fung. The ceremonial offerings from his family, however, were not so complete as the rules required; and when he wished to meet her and convey her home, she and her friends refused to carry out the engagement. The other party brought the case to trial, and the lady made this Ode, asserting that while a single ceremony was not complied with, she would not allow herself to be forced from her parent’s house.” The language of the piece is, however, very difficult and obscure.
[* ]Wu kiâ, lit., “without home”, but the commentators twist it into meaning “without going through the rites of engagement and betrothal.”
[† ]Kiâ shih puh tsuh;—“kiâ shih” often stands for husband and wife, and “puh tsuh” (lit., not sufficient) may simply mean “not quite.”
[‡ ]These seem to be the meanings of kih and tsung, as variations from the p‘i, the woolly skin of the first stanza. The idea of the writer seems to be that, however faded and worn these garments were, they still retained and exhibited entire their dignity and self-respect.
[* ]The husband being constantly called forth for military expeditions, the wife is led to think of him by the occurrence of storms, to which he must be exposed.
[* ]Lit., “callings in life are various.” The ladies of the bed-chamber, or inferior wives,—quasi servants,—are here represented, like those in Book I. (Odes 1 and 4), as recognizing their position, and as being free from envy of the lady who occupies the rank of “first wife.”
[* ]The words are put into the mouths of some Prince’s concubines. The new wife was at first jealous of these, but afterwards, owing, it is said, to the example of T‘ai-sze in King Wăn’s household, she ceased to be so.
[† ]Helping words are used in the translation, to give more clearly the idea in these lines of separation and reunion.
[‡ ]Native expositors find here an instance of maidenly modesty and virtue (another result of Wăn’s beneficent rule); but who will take the concluding lines in this light?
[* ]Lit., like a jewel.
[† ]The name “Ki,” in the original, was the surname of the House of Chow.
[‡ ]This was doubtless the son of one of the feudal lords or princes. Such marriages tended to strengthen the union of the States and the throne.
[* ]Tsow Yu was the name of a fabulous beast resembling a tiger, supposed to appear only in the time of princes of rare benevolence and uprightness. There is a later explanation of the term, which makes it the name of a celebrated hunter; but the old view is more probably the right one.