Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK VI.: THE ODES OF THE ROYAL DOMAIN. * - The Shi King, the Old Poetry Classic of the Chinese
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
BOOK VI.: THE ODES OF THE ROYAL DOMAIN. * - 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).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
THE ODES OF THE ROYAL DOMAIN.*
I. vi. 1.
THE DESOLATED CAPITALS: LAMENT OF A STATESMAN.†
I. vi. 2.
THE HUSBAND ABROAD.
I. vi. 3.
THE HUSBAND RETURNED.
I. vi. 4.
HOME-LONGINGS OF THE FRONTIER-GUARDSMEN.
I. vi. 5.
THE WIFE DIVORCED BY FAMINE*
I. vi. 6.
A WEARIED STATESMAN.*
I. vi. 7.
I. vi. 8.
ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER.
I. vi. 9.
WHY SHE CAME NOT.‡
I. vi. 10.
THE LOITERING LOVERS.
[* ]This is the expansion of the single title “Wang” (royal). The royal domain or State was in Eastern Chow. Fung and Hâu were two successive capitals (see III. i. 10). On the accession of King P‘ing, there was a removal still further East (bc 769), and from this time the dynasty began to wane.
[† ]The old Preface says: “A great officer of Chow, travelling on the public service, came to the old capital, and, as he passed by, found the places of the ancestral temple, palaces, and other public buildings, all overgrown with millet. Struck with sorrow for the downfall of the House of Chow, he moved about the place in an undecided way, as if he could not bear to leave it, and made this piece.”
[* ]The slight variations in the second and third stanzas seem to point to his lingering some months in the neighbourhood.
[* ]Properly, the mouth-piece of the reed-organ.
[† ]A dancer’s fan or screen, Both of these meanings are, how ever, attempted to be brought out by the bracketed words in the fourth lines.
[‡ ]The explanation of the metaphorical allusion to the water and faggots seems to be that as the course of a stream is choked, and the water deepens till it finds some way of proceeding, so the thought of home-ties was growing upon the soldiers till it threatened some ebullition.
[* ]The old Chinese interpreters here put the blame for the separation on the government. “When the government is good, husbands and wives support each other; when the State is disordered they separate.”
[* ]Referred to the time of King Hwan (bc 719-696), when the States revolted from him, and his army was defeated, and calamity followed calamity.
[† ]By the wily hares are meant those statesmen who had been the cause of these disorders, and sought to escape the consequence of their own acts; by the pheasants, those who acted straightforwardly, and suffered.
[* ]i.e., flourishing on their native soil.
[† ]Lit., far from my brothers, i.e., clansmen or kin. The old interpreters give a historical significance to this Ode. “King P‘ing’s relatives find fault with him for slighting ‘the nine classes of his kindred.’ ”
[* ]The Kŏ, as in I. i. 2 et al.
[† ]A kind of southernwood. The plants named seem only to have been chosen for the sake of the rhymes in the original.
[‡ ]In the decline of Chow there was much licentiousness between the sexes, but here and there it was curbed by stringent officers. Here is an instance of fear to elope under such an officer’s rule.
[§ ]Lit., like the young sedge—one of the five colours on the robes of great officials. Dark red, another of these colours, is referred to in the second stanza.
[* ]Lit., as; but here the phrase has the appearance of an oath.