Front Page Titles (by Subject) BOOK VIII. - The Shi King, the Old Poetry Classic of the Chinese
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BOOK VIII. - 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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II. viii. 1.
CHANGED TIMES. THE HEART GOES BACK TO THE OLD CAPITAL.*
II. viii. 2.
THE ABSENT HUSBAND.
II. viii. 3.
SONG OF THE TROOPS AFTER SHAU’S EXPEDITION TO SIE.†
II. viii. 4.
A HAPPY MEETING.†
II. viii. 5.
LAMENT OF A REJECTED QUEEN-CONSORT.†
II. viii. 6.
II. viii. 7.
II. viii. 8.
II. viii. 9.
II. viii. 10.
THE SOLDIER’S HARDSHIPS.‡
THE GREATER FESTAL ODES.
[* ]No date is assigned to the piece; but Dr. Legge is of opinion that it is to be “referred to the period soon after the removal of the capital to Loh, when things were all in disorder at the new seat of government.” We may therefore place it about 760 bc New manners and fashions were there disturbing men of conservative minds.
[† ]Lit., straight.
[* ]Surnames of two noble families.
[† ]Lit., I would go far in quest of such.
[‡ ]ü () is a flag with falcons emblazoned on it; but seems here simply to denote the figures made in adorning the hair.
[§ ]The plants king-grass (or lit. “green-leaf”) and blue-leaf were plants yielding dyes. I conclude from a note in the China Review, vol. ix. pp. 248-9, that the latter, lan, is the lan yeh, or blue-leaf, as in the translation.
[* ]These concluding lines are not clear to any translator, and I give the above rendering of them as the most probable, in my opinion.
[† ]This expedition had for its object the building and fortifying of a city, and the reclamation of the adjoining lands, in order to keep off the wild tribes of the border. See III. iii. 5 for an account of this.
[* ]Were cleared.
[† ]There is nothing in the piece to show who or what the parties were. The keun tsze () is always more or less indefinite, and whether it is singular or plural is often left to the imagination. So here; nor is it known who is speaking. It may be the king to his princes, or vice versâ; or a wife to her husband returning from abroad.
[* ]Lit., what day forget it?
[† ]King Yiu () put away his queen, and replaced her by his concubine Pâu-sze. Probably Pâu-sze is the “great one” shih jan) alluded to in verses 3, 4, and 6. Some of the allusive lines are difficult to understand. Dr. Legge, in his metrical version, expands each verse to eight lines, in trying to bring out their meaning.
[* ]Lit., “the sound of drums and bells within the palace is heard (or, I hear) outside it.”
[† ]The allusion is here evident enough. The birds have changed places; so have the queen and Pâu-sze.
[‡ ]The “stone” is supposed to be Pâu-sze!
[* ]Some underlings complain of their hardships during an expedition. The poet puts their words into the mouth of small birds halting in their flight, incongruous though the sentiments may seem as uttered by the birds.
[† ]Much is made of this word (chi) by Confucius in his “Great Learning;” and, as an illustration of his teaching in that place, a meaning seems to be forced upon it which it will not bear.
[‡ ]Lit., far, long.
[§ ]I take kiu as standing for kiu che.
[∥ ]Lit., “we fear inability to go rapidly.” So also in the third stanza, “we fear we may not reach the end.”
[* ]A great deal of meaning is tersely expressed here. The host was poor and frugal, yet would not curtail the usual ceremonies of a feast. It was the rule as indicated in the several verses:—
[* ]Song of troops on some expedition to the East. From the allusion to the rains the expedition may be supposed to be the same as that of I. xv. 3.
[† ]i.e., owing to the continual rains.
[‡ ]This curiously coincides with the Greek notion.
[§ ]The trumpet-flowers, growing yellow with age, and afterwards falling, represent the decay of a season of prosperity.
[* ]A picture of famine. Lit., “the ewes have abnormal heads; the ‘Three Stars’ are in the creels;” i.e., nought else is found in them.
[‡ ]Said to refer to the time when the House of Chow was falling. The marches were incessant, through summer (v. 1), and autumn (v. 2), and no regard was had to the miseries of the troops.