Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK V.: THE ODES OF WEI. - The Shi King, the Old Poetry Classic of the Chinese
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BOOK V.: THE ODES OF WEI. - 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 WEI.
I. v. 1.
PRAISE OF DUKE WU OF WEI. (bc 811-757.)
I. v. 2.
THE HAPPY RECLUSE.*
I. v. 8.
I. v. 4.
I. v. 5.
I. v. 6.
A CONCEITED LORDLING.
I. v. 7.
SO FAR, AND YET SO NEAR.§
I. v. 8.
THE ABSENT HERO-HUSBAND.
I. v. 9.
WIFELESS AND FORLORN.*
I. v. 10.
[* ]Said to be directed against Duke Chwang (bc 756-734). Under his rule men of virtue and talent withdrew from public service and lived in obscurity.
[† ]The two first characters may be translated a dozen different ways; but they do not seem important.
[‡ ]Lit., speaks or talks.
[§ ]Lit., sleeping and waking.
[∥ ]I have ventured to differ from all commentators and translators I have seen in the rendering of this line. I take the “vow” as the object and not as the verb, for as a verb it has no object in any of the three verses.
[* ]On the reception of Chwang-Kiang as bride at the Court of Wei. See note on the first Ode of Book III.
[* ]This pathetic Ode tells its own tale. The Chinese say that in it “a lewd woman who has been rejected by her husband repeats her story to herself, and so expresses her repentance”! All that can be said against her is that after much resistance she consented to marry her lover at last without going through all the prescribed forms of marriage.
[† ]The arranger of marriages between the parents—an indispensable personage; see I. viii. 6 and I. xv. 5.
[‡ ]The lover’s place of abode.
[§ ]Divining—trying his fortune.
[* ]There is a small dove that suffers from eating these berries.
[† ]An allusion to the words of the marriage vows.
[* ]A lady of Wei, married in some other State, recalls here the scenes of her youth.
[† ]The K‘i valley seems to have been noted for its bamboos (see Ode 1 of this Book).
[‡ ]The Ts‘ün-yün, known as the Hundred Springs.
[* ]The hwan lan is a delicate creeping plant, full of milky juice, unable, it is said, to rise from the ground without support,—introduced therefore here to characterize the weak youth, otherwise so precocious.
[† ]An ivory or horn stiletto, worn by adults for the loosening of knots about the dress; said to be an emblem also of capacity for difficult business.
[‡ ]This ring, also of ivory or horn, was worn by archers on the right thumb in shooting, but at other times was one of the girdle ornaments.
[§ ]A daughter of Swân-Kiang had been married to Duke Hwan of Sung. She bore him a son, but was afterwards divorced, and returned to her native Wei. On her son’s succession to the dukedom, she desired to go back to him, but the terms of her divorce, and probably her own sense of the proprieties, forbade her doing so. The river was wide, and the way long, that separated her from the son, but she regards these as nothing to overcome, had there been no other obstacle.
[* ]In a time of anarchy and confusion in Wei, there were many who could not marry. Here a widow or unmarried woman has met with a vagabond male, and his forlorn condition has so roused her matronly instincts that she is willing to marry him and look after him! Such is the usual interpretation of the piece. In the ancient Preface to the Book of Poetry it is said to be directed against the times. “The males and females of Wei were losing the time for marriage. . . . Anciently, when a State was suffering from the misery of famine, the rules were relaxed so that there might be many marriages; and men and women who had no partners were brought together, in order to promote the increase of the people.”
[* ]The names of the stones in all three stanzas are difficult to give. Known ones are given for the unknown.