Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK XV.: THE ODES OF PIN. * - The Shi King, the Old Poetry Classic of the Chinese
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BOOK XV.: THE ODES OF PIN. * - 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 PIN.*
I. xv. 1.
LIFE IN PIN IN THE OLDEN TIME.†
I. xv. 2.
THE NEST, SO HARD TO BUILD, NOW ROBBED.*
I. xv. 3.
SONG OF THE TROOPS ON RETURNING FROM THE EASTERN CAMPAIGN.*
I. xv. 4.
I. xv. 5.
I. xv. 6.
LAMENTS IN THE EAST AT THE DUKE’S RECALL.
I. xv. 7.
THE DUKE’S CALMNESS UNDER CALUMNY.†
THE MINOR FESTAL ODES.
[* ]Pin was the name of a district in the west of the present province of Shen-si, and was the home of the ancestry of the Chow family from 1796 to 1325 bc
[† ]We might almost call the piece the “Georgies” of Pin. It is said to have been written by the famous Duke of Chow (Chow-kung,—son of King Wăn, and brother of King Wu) for his young nephew and ward, known afterwards as King Ch‘ing, so the date assigned to it would be between 1116 and 1112 bc (the period during which Chow-kung was Regent). The language is put into the mouth of the farmers, and is supposed to represent the life of the country people some centuries before its date.
[‡ ]Lit., sinks the Fire-star. The Heart of the Scorpion was so called. It is computed that about this time this star passed the meridian in August. The first month therefore would begin during our February.
[§ ]Lit., the first’s days. The nomenclature of some older calendar seems to have been used for the winter months; but I have continued the numbers known to us,—11th, 12th, 1st, 2nd.
[* ]i.e., following the plough. Any one who has seen ploughing in China through mud and water nearly knee-deep will understand this “lilting of toes.”
[† ]Lit., have open-air meals on the south-lying acres.
[‡ ]Or, white southernwood. Besides being used in sacrifice (see I. ii. 2) this herb served in some way to assist in the hatching of the silkworm.
[§ ]i.e., to be married.
[∥ ]No certain month, but that in which the silkworm creeps out, when it must be fed with mulberry leaves.
[* ]A general hunt, which was intended also to keep the people in training for war.
[† ]In this verse three separate insects seem to be named, the locust, the “spinner,” and the cricket; but the Chinese commentators say they are names of the same insect at different stages of its existence.
[* ]An offering to the Spirit who was supposed to preside over the cold season.
[* ]This Ode is said to have been written by the Duke of Chow to vindicate his fidelity at a time when he was accused of treachery towards the young King Ch‘ing (see Note 2 on last Ode). A little history must here be given, which will throw light on this as well as the remaining pieces in this Book.
[† ]On all hands I see this bird is called an owl; but the picture of it in the Urh-ya t‘u is decidedly that of a hawk. The hawk is evidently Wu-Kăng, the “young ones” the Duke’s brothers, and the “nest,” or “house” (v. 3) the infant dynasty of Chow.
[* ]This beautiful allegory Confucius has commented upon. (See Mencius II., Part i. IV. 3, Legge’s Classics.)
[† ]Many were still unwilling to abandon the fallen dynasty of Shang.
[‡ ]The young dynasty still in danger.
[* ]The Duke of Chow’s Expedition to quash the rebellion (see Note 1 on last Ode).
[† ]In the ranks the troops wore a kind of gag in the mouth to prevent their talking.
[* ]It is to be much doubted whether the implements in these verses are weapons of war. It is more probable that they were agricultural and other tools, which had become rusty, blunted, and almost useless during the men’s three years’ absence. At present, when a Chinese wishes to express the fact of his having been long absent from friends, he uses the two opening lines of this Ode.
[† ]Lit., the four States; but this phrase often means the four sides of the State.
[‡ ]He did not go to fight so much as to make peace, and thereby to show his love and pity for his country, then so disturbed.
[* ]This piece is thought by all Chinese critics to refer to the Duke of Chow. Its place in the book lends some support to their view. The substance of Chu-Hi’s comment is, that the first verse expresses the desire of the Eastern people to see the famous Duke, and that the second speaks of their satisfaction on seeing him. Victor von Strauss thinks that if we are to take the lines metaphorically, they may be interpreted thus:—the young monarch Ch‘ing is seeking full possession of his kingdom (the bride), and can do nothing without the Duke as his mediator and example; whilst with him as such all is brought about happily.
[† ]The match-arranger (see I. v. 4) was thus, even in the twelfth century bc, as now, a sine quâ non.
[‡ ]Scil., in the hand.
[§ ]“Feast,” lit., vessels of bamboo and earthenware, used in feasts convivial and sacrificial.
[* ]Lit., with you staying two nights. But the “you” is unimportant: the people are supposed to be talking with each other.
[† ]His serenity is contrasted with the action of a wolf at bay. For the calumny, see Note 1 on the second Ode.
[‡ ]Scoticé. Lit., dewlap.
[§ ]Red slippers were worn by the king and the chief princes.