Front Page Titles (by Subject) III.: The Praise Odes of Lû. - The Sacred Books of China: The Texts of Confucianism. Part I The Shu King, the Religious Portions of the Shih King, the Hsiao King
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III.: The Praise Odes of Lû. - Misc (Confucian School), The Sacred Books of China: The Texts of Confucianism. Part I The Shu King, the Religious Portions of the Shih King, the Hsiao King 
The Sacred Books of China: The Texts of Confucianism. Part I The Shu King, the Religious Portions of the Shih King, the Hsiao King, trans. James Legge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879).
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The Praise Odes of Lû.
It is not according to the truth of things to class the Sung of Lû among the sacrificial odes, and I do not call them such. Kû Hsî says:—‘King Khăng, because of the great services rendered by the duke of Kâu, granted to Po-khin, (the duke’s eldest son, and first marquis of Lû), the privilege of using the royal ceremonies and music, in consequence of which Lû had its Sung, which were sung to the music in its ancestral temple. Afterwards, they made in Lû other odes in praise of their rulers, which they also called Sung.’ In this way it is endeavoured to account for there being such pieces in this part of the Shih as the four in this division of it. Confucius, it is thought, found them in Lû, bearing the name of Sung, and so he classed them with the true sacrificial odes, bearing that designation. If we were to admit, contrary to the evidence in the case, that the Shih was compiled by Confucius, this explanation of the place of the Sung of Lû in this Part would not be complimentary to his discrimination.
Whether such a privilege as Kû states was really granted to the first marquis of Lû, is a point very much controverted. Many contend that the royal ceremonies were usurped in the state, in the time of duke Hsî (bc 659 to 627). But if this should be conceded, it would not affect the application to the odes in this division of the name of Sung. They are totally unlike the Sung of Shang and of Kâu. It has often been asked why there are no Făng of Lû in the first Part of the Shih. The pieces here are really the Făng of Lû, and may be compared especially with the Făng of Pin.
Lû was one of the states in the east, having its capital in Khüfâu, which is still the name of a district in the department of Yen-kâu, Shan-tung. According to Kû, king Khăng invested the duke of Kâu’s eldest son with the territory. According to Sze-mâ Khien, the duke of Kâu was himself appointed marquis of Lû; but being unable to go there in consequence of his duties at the royal court, he sent his son instead. After the expiration of his regency, the territory was largely augmented, but he still remained in Kâu.
I pass over the first two odes, which have no claim to a place among ‘sacred texts.’ And only in one stanza of the third is there the expression of a religious sentiment. I give it entire, however.
The Phan Shui.
The marquis here celebrated was, probably, Shăn, or ‘duke Hsî,’ mentioned above. The immediate occasion of its composition must have been some opening or inauguration service in connexion with the repair of the college.
1. Pleasant is the semicircular water1 , And we gather the cress about it. The marquis of Lû is coming to it, And we see his dragon-figured banner. His banner waves in the wind, And the bells of his horses tinkle harmoniously. Small and great, All follow the prince in his progress to it.
2. Pleasant is the semicircular water, And we gather the pondweed in it. The marquis of Lû has come to it, With his horses so stately. His horses are grand; His fame is brilliant. Blandly he looks and smiles; Without any impatience he delivers his instructions.
3. Pleasant is the semicircular water, And we gather the mallows about it. The marquis of Lû has come to it, And in the college he is drinking. He is drinking the good spirits. May there be given to him such old age as is seldom enjoyed! May he accord with the grand ways, So subduing to himself all the people!
4. Very admirable is the marquis of Lû, Reverently displaying his virtue, And reverently watching over his deportment, The pattern of the people. With great qualities, both civil and martial, Brilliantly he affects his meritorious ancestors1 . In everything entirely filial, He seeks the blessing that is sure to follow.
5. Very intelligent is the marquis of Lû, Making his virtue illustrious. He has made this college with its semicircle of water, And the tribes of the Hwâi will submit to him2 . His martial-looking tiger-leaders. Will here present the left ears (of their foes)3 . His examiners, wise as Kâo-yâo4 , Will here present the prisoners.
6. His numerous officers, Men who have enlarged their virtuous minds, With martial energy conducting their expedition, Will drive far away those tribes of the east and south. Vigorous and grand, Without noise or display, Without appeal to the judges1 , They will here present (the proofs of) their merit.
7. How they draw their bows adorned with bone! How their arrows whiz forth! Their war chariots are very large! Their footmen and charioteers never weary! They have subdued the tribes of Hwâi, And brought them to an unrebellious submission. Only lay your plans securely, And all the tribes of the Hwâi will be won2 .
8. They come flying on the wing, those owls, And settle on the trees about the college; They eat the fruit of our mulberry trees, And salute us with fine notes3 . So awakened shall be those tribes of the Hwâi. They will come presenting their precious things, Their large tortoises, and their elephants’ teeth, And great contributions of the southern metals4 .
The Pî Kung.
There is no doubt that duke Hsî is the hero of this piece. He is mentioned in the third stanza as ‘the son of duke Kwang,’ and the Hsî-sze referred to in the last stanza as the architect under whose superintendence the temples had been repaired was his brother, whom we meet with elsewhere as ‘duke’s son, Yü.’ The descriptions of various sacrifices prove that the lords of Lû, whether permitted to use royal ceremonies or not, did really do so. The writer was evidently in a poetic rapture as to what his ruler was, and would do. The piece is a genuine bardic effusion.
The poet traces the lords of Lû to Kiang Yüan and her son Hâu-kî. He then comes to the establishment of the Kâu dynasty, and under it of the marquisate of Lû; and finally to duke Hsî, dilating on his sacrificial services, the military power of Lû, and the achievements which he might be expected to accomplish in subjugating all the territory lying to the east, and a long way south, of Lû.
1. How pure and still are the solemn temples, In their strong solidity and minute completeness! Highly distinguished was Kiang Yüan1 , Of virtue undeflected. God regarded her with favour, And without injury or hurt, Immediately, when her months were completed, She gave birth to Hâu-kî! On him were conferred all blessings,—(To know) how the (ordinary) millet ripened early, and the sacrificial millet late; How first to sow pulse and then wheat. Anon he was invested with an inferior state, And taught the people how to sow and to reap, The (ordinary) millet and the sacrificial, Rice and the black millet; Ere long over the whole country:—(Thus) continuing the work of Yü.
2. Among the descendants of Hâu-kî, There was king Thâi1 , Dwelling on the south of (mount) Khî, Where the clipping of Shang began. In process of time Wăn and Wû. Continued the work of king Thâi, And (the purpose of) Heaven was carried out in its time, In the plain of Mû2 . ‘Have no doubts, no anxieties,’ (it was said), ‘God is with you3 .’ Wû disposed of the troops of Shang; He and his men equally shared in the achievement. (Then) king (Khăng) said, ‘My uncle4 , I will set up your eldest son, And make him marquis of Lû. I will greatly enlarge your territory there, To be a help and support to the House of Kâu.’
3. Accordingly he appointed (our first) duke of Lû, And made him marquis in the east, Giving him the hills and rivers, The lands and fields, and the attached states5 . The (present) descendant of the duke of Kâu, The son of duke Kwang, With dragon-emblazoned banner, attends the sacrifices, (Grasping) his six reins soft and pliant. In spring and autumn he is not remiss; His offerings are all without error1 . To the great and sovereign God, And to his great ancestor Hâu-kî, He offers the victims, red and pure2 . They enjoy, they approve, And bestow blessings in large number. The duke of Kâu, and (your other) great ancestors, Also bless you.
4. In autumn comes the sacrifice of the season3 , But the bulls for it have had their horns capped in summer4 ; They are the white bull and the red one5 . (There are) the bull-figured goblet in its dignity6 ; Roast pig, minced meat, and soups; The dishes of bamboo and wood, and the large stands7 , And the dancers all complete. The filial descendant will be blessed. (Your ancestors) will make you gloriously prosperous, They will make you long-lived and good, To preserve this eastern region, Long possessing the state of Lû, Unwaning, unfallen, Unshaken, undisturbed! They will make your friendship with your three aged (ministers)1 Like the hills, like the mountains.
5. Our prince’s chariots are a thousand, And (in each) are (the two spears with their) vermilion tassels, and (the two bows with their) green bands. His footmen are thirty thousand, With shells on vermilion strings adorning their helmets2 . So numerous are his ardent followers, To deal with the tribes of the west and north, And to punish those of King and Shû3 , So that none of them will dare to withstand us. (The spirits of your ancestors) shall make you grandly prosperous; They shall make you long-lived and wealthy. The hoary hair and wrinkled back, Marking the aged men, shall always be in your service. They shall grant you old age, ever vigorous, For myriads and thousands of years, With the eyebrows of longevity, and ever unharmed.
6. The mountain of Thâi is lofty, Looked up to by the state of Lû1 . We grandly possess also Kwei and Măng2 ; And we shall extend to the limits of the east, Even the states along the sea. The tribes of the Hwâi will seek our alliance; All will proffer their allegiance:—Such shall be the achievements of the marquis of Lû.
7. He shall maintain the possession of Hû and Yî3 , And extend his sway to the regions of Hsü4 , Even to the states along the sea. The tribes of the Hwâi, the Man, and the Mo5 , And those tribes (still more) to the south, All will proffer their allegiance;—Not one will dare not to answer to his call, Thus showing their obedience to the marquis of Lû.
8. Heaven will give great blessing to our prince, So that with the eyebrows of longevity he shall maintain Lû. He shall possess Kang and Hsü1 , And recover all the territory of the duke of Kâu. Then shall the marquis of Lû feast and be glad, With his admirable wife and aged mother; With his excellent ministers and all his (other) officers2 . Our region and state shall he hold, Thus receiving many blessings, To hoary hair, and with teeth ever renewed like a child’s.
9. The pines of Ȝû-lâi3 , And the cypresses of Hsin-fû , Were cut down and measured, With the cubit line and the eight cubits’ line. The projecting beams of pine were made very large; The grand inner apartments rose vast. Splendid look the new temples, The work of Hsî-sze, Very wide and large, Answering to the expectations of all the people.
THE MINOR ODES OF THE KINGDOM.
The First Decade, or that of Lû-ming.
Ode 5, Stanza 1.
The Fâ mû.
On the trees go the blows kăng-kăng; And the birds cry out ying-ying. One issues from the dark valley, And removes to the lofty tree. Ying goes its cry, Seeking with its voice its companion. Look at the bird, Bird as it is, seeking with its voice its companion; And shall a man Not seek to have his friends? Spiritual beings will then hearken to him1 ; He shall have harmony and peace.
The Thien Pâo.
Heaven protects and establishes thee, With the greatest security; Makes thee entirely virtuous. That thou mayest enjoy every happiness; Grants thee much increase, So that thou hast all in abundance.
Heaven protects and establishes thee. It grants thee all excellence, So that thine every matter is right, And thou receivest every Heavenly favour. It sends down to thee long-during happiness, Which the days are not sufficient to enjoy.
Heaven protects and establishes thee, So that in everything thou dost prosper. Like the high hills and the mountain masses, Like the topmost ridges and the greatest bulks, Like the stream ever coming on, Such is thine increase.
With happy auspices and purifications thou bringest the offerings, And dost filially present them, In spring, summer, autumn, and winter, To the dukes and former kings1 ; And they say, ‘We give to thee myriads of years, duration unlimited2 .’
The spirits come3 , And confer on thee many blessings. The people are simple and honest, Daily enjoying their meat and drink. All the black-haired race, in all their surnames, Universally practise thy virtue.
Like the moon advancing to the full, Like the sun ascending the heavens, Like the everlasting southern hills, Never waning, never falling, Like the luxuriance of the fir and the cypress;—May such be thy succeeding line!
Ode 9, Stanza 4.
The Tî tû.
The congratulation is given in a description of the anxiety and longing of the soldiers’ wives for their return. We must suppose one of the wives to be the speaker throughout. The fourth stanza shows how she had resorted to divination to allay her fears about her husband.
They have not packed up, they do not come. My sorrowing heart is greatly distressed. The time is past, and he is not here, To the multiplication of my sorrows. Both by the tortoise-shell and the reeds have I divined, And they unite in saying he is near. My warrior is at hand.
The Fourth Decade, or that of Khî fû.
Ode 5, Stanzas 5 to 9.
The Sze Kan.
The piece is referred to the time of king Hsüan (bc 827 to 782).
Level and smooth is the courtyard, And lofty are the pillars around it. Pleasant is the exposure of the chamber to the light, And deep and wide are its recesses. Here will our noble lord repose.
On the rush-mat below and that of fine bamboos above it, May he repose in slumber! May he sleep and awake, (Saying), ‘Divine for me my dreams1 . What dreams are lucky? They have been of bears and grisly bears; They have been of cobras and (other) snakes.’
The chief diviner will divine them. ‘The bears and grisly bears. Are the auspicious intimations of sons; The cobras and (other) snakes. Are the auspicious intimations of daughters2 .’
Sons shall be born to him:—They will be put to sleep on couches; They will be clothed in robes; They will have sceptres to play with; Their cry will be loud. They will be (hereafter) resplendent with red knee-covers, The (future) king, the princes of the land.
Daughters shall be born to him:—They will be put to sleep on the ground; They will be clothed with wrappers; They will have tiles to play with3 . It will be theirs neither to do wrong nor to do good4 . Only about the spirits and the food will they have to think, And to cause no sorrow to their parents.
Ode 6, Stanza 4.
The Wû Yang.
Your herdsmen shall dream, Of multitudes and then of fishes, Of the tortoise-and-serpent, and then of the falcon, banners1 . The chief diviner will divine the dreams;—How the multitudes, dissolving into fishes, Betoken plentiful years; How the tortoise-and-serpent, dissolving into the falcon, banners, Betoken the increasing population of the kingdom.
The Kieh Nan Shan.
This piece is referred to the time of king Yû (bc 781 to 771), the unworthy son of king Hsüan. The ‘Grand-Master’ Yin must have been one of the ‘three Kung’, the highest ministers at the court of Kâu, and was, probably, the chief of the three, and administrator of the government under Yû.
Lofty is that southern hill2 , With its masses of rocks! Awe-inspiring are you, O (Grand-)Master Yin, And the people all look to you! A fire burns in their grieving hearts; They do not dare to speak of you even in jest. The kingdom is verging to extinction;—How is it that you do not consider the state of things?
Lofty is that southern hill, And vigorously grows the vegetation on it! Awe-inspiring are you, O (Grand-)Master Yin, But how is it that you are so unjust? Heaven is continually redoubling its inflictions; Deaths and disorder increase and multiply; No words of satisfaction come from the people; And yet you do not correct nor bemoan yourself.
The Grand-Master Yin Is the foundation of our Kâu, And the balance of the kingdom is in his hands. He should be keeping its four quarters together; He should be aiding the Son of Heaven, So as to preserve the people from going astray. O unpitying great Heaven, It is not right he should reduce us all to such misery!
He does nothing himself personally, And the people have no confidence in him. Making no enquiry about them, and no trial of their services, He should not deal deceitfully with superior men. If he dismissed them on the requirement of justice, Mean men would not be endangering (the commonweal); And his mean relatives Would not be in offices of importance.
Great Heaven, unjust, Is sending down these exhausting disorders. Great Heaven, unkind, Is sending down these great miseries. Let superior men come (into office), And that would bring rest to the people’s hearts. Let superior men execute their justice, And the animosities and angers would disappear1 .
O unpitying great Heaven, There is no end to the disorder! With every month it continues to grow, So that the people have no repose. I am as if intoxicated with the grief of my heart. Who holds the ordering of the kingdom? He attends not himself to the government, And the result is toil and pain to the people.
I yoke my four steeds, My four steeds, long-necked. I look to the four quarters (of the kingdom); Distress is everywhere; there is no place I can drive to.
Now your evil is rampant2 , And I can see your spears. Anon you are pacified and friendly as if you were pledging one another.
From great Heaven is the injustice, And our king has no repose. (Yet) he will not correct his heart, And goes on to resent endeavours to rectify him.
I, Kiâ-fû, have made this poem, To lay bare the king’s disorders. If you would but change your heart, Then would the myriad regions be nourished.
Ode 8, Stanzas 4, 5, and 7.
The KĂng yüeh.
Look into the middle of the forest; There are (only) large faggots and small branches in it1 . The people now amidst their perils Look to Heaven, all dark; But let its determination be fixed, And there is no one whom it will not overcome. There is the great God,—Does he hate any one?
If one say of a hill that it is low, There are its ridges and its large masses. The false calumnies of the people,—How is it that you do not repress them2 ? You call those experienced ancients, You consult the diviner of dreams. They all say, ‘We are very wise, But who can distinguish the male and female crow3 ?’
Look at the rugged and stony field;—Luxuriantly rises in it the springing grain. (But) Heaven moves and shakes me, As if it could not overcome me4 . They sought me (at first) to be a pattern (to them), (Eagerly) as if they could not get me; (Now) they regard me with great animosity, And will not use my strength.
The Shih Yüeh kih Kiâo.
Attention is called in the Introduction, p. 296, to the date of the solar eclipse mentioned in this piece.
At the conjunction (of the sun and moon) in the tenth month, On the first day of the moon, which was hsin-mâo, The sun was eclipsed, A thing of very evil omen. Before, the moon became small, And now the sun became small. Henceforth the lower people Will be in a very deplorable case.
The sun and moon announce evil, Not keeping to their proper paths. Throughout the kingdom there is no (proper) government, Because the good are not employed. For the moon to be eclipsed Is but an ordinary matter. Now that the sun has been eclipsed,—How bad it is!
Grandly flashes the lightning of the thunder. There is a want of rest, a want of good. The streams all bubble up and overflow. The crags on the hill-tops fall down. High banks become valleys; Deep valleys become hills. Alas for the men of this time! How does (the king) not stop these things?
Hwang-fû is the President; Fan is the Minister of Instruction; Kiâ-po is the (chief) Administrator; Kung-yün is the chief Cook; Ȝâu is the Recorder of the Interior; Khwei is Master of the Horse; Yü is Captain of the Guards; And the beautiful wife blazes, now in possession of her place1 .
This Hwang-fû Will not acknowledge that he is acting out of season. But why does he call us to move, Without coming and consulting with us? He has removed our walls and roofs; And our fields are all either a marsh or a moor. He says, ‘I am not injuring you; The laws require that thus it should be.’
Hwang-fû is very wise; He has built a great city for himself in Hsiang. He chose three men as his ministers, All of them possessed of great wealth. He could not bring himself to leave a single minister, Who might guard our king. He (also) selected those who had chariots and horses, To go and reside in Hsiang2 .
I have exerted myself to discharge my service, And do not dare to make a report of my toils. Without crime or offence of any kind, Slanderous mouths are loud against me. (But) the calamities of the lower people. Do not come down from Heaven. A multitude of (fair) words, and hatred behind the back;—The earnest, strong pursuit of this is from men.
Distant far is my village, And my dissatisfaction is great. In other quarters there is ease, And I dwell here, alone and sorrowful. Everybody is going into retirement, And I alone dare not seek rest. The ordinances of Heaven are inexplicable, But I will not dare to follow my friends, and leave my post.
Ode 10, Stanzas 1 and 3.
The Yü Wû KĂng.
Great and wide Heaven, How is it you have contracted your kindness, Sending down death and famine, Destroying all through the kingdom? Compassionate Heaven, arrayed in terrors, How is it you exercise no forethought, no care? Let alone the criminals:—They have suffered for their guilt. But those who have no crime. Are indiscriminately involved in ruin.
How is it, O great Heaven, That the king will not hearken to the justest words? He is like a man going (astray), Who knows not where he will proceed to. All ye officers, Let each of you attend to his duties. How do ye not stand in awe of one another? Ye do not stand in awe of Heaven.
The Fifth Decade, or that of Hsiâo Min.
Ode 1, Stanzas 1, 2, and 3.
The Hsiâo Min.
This is referred, like several of the pieces in the fourth decade, to the time of king Yû.
The angry terrors of compassionate Heaven Extend through this lower world. (The king’s) counsels and plans are crooked and bad; When will he stop (in his course)? Counsels that are good he will not follow, And those that are not good he employs. When I look at his counsels and plans, I am greatly pained.
Now they agree, and now they defame one another;—The case is greatly to be deplored. If a counsel be good, They are all found opposing it. If a counsel be bad, They are all found according with it. When I look at such counsels and plans, What will they come to?
Our tortoise-shells are wearied out, And will not tell us anything about the plans. The counsellors are very many, But on that account nothing is accomplished. The speakers fill the court, But who dares to take any responsibility on himself? We are as if we consulted (about a journey) without taking a step in advance, And therefore did not get on on the road.
Ode 2, Stanzas 1 and 2.
The Hsiâo Yüan.
Small is the cooing dove, But it flies aloft to heaven. My heart is wounded with sorrow, And I think of our forefathers. When the dawn is breaking, and I cannot sleep, The thoughts in my breast are of our parents.
Men who are grave and wise, Though they drink, are mild and masters of themselves; But those who are benighted and ignorant Become devoted to drink, and more so daily. Be careful, each of you, of your deportment; What Heaven confers, (when once lost), is not regained1 .
The greenbeaks come and go, Picking up grain about the stackyard. Alas for the distressed and the solitary, Deemed fit inmates for the prisons! With a handful of grain I go out and divine2 , How I may be able to become good.
Ode 3, Stanzas 1 and 3.
The Hsiâo Pan.
It is allowed that this piece is clearly the composition of a banished son, and there is no necessity to call in question the tradition preserved in the Preface which prefers it to Î-khiû, the eldest son of king Yû. His mother was a princess of the House of Shăn; but when Yû became enamoured of Sze of Pâo, the queen was degraded, and the son banished to Shăn.
With flapping wings the crows. Come back, flying all in a flock1 . Other people are happy, And I only am full of misery. What is my offence against Heaven? What is my crime? My heart is sad;—What is to be done?
Even the mulberry trees and the rottleras. Must be regarded with reverence2 ; But no one is to be looked up to like a father, No one is to be depended on as a mother. Have I not a connexion with the hairs (of my father)? Did I not dwell in the womb (of my mother)? O Heaven, who gave me birth! How was it at so inauspicious a time?
Ode 4, Stanza 1.
The Khiâo Yen.
This piece has been referred to the time of king Lî, bc 878 to 828.
O vast and distant Heaven, Who art called our parent, That, without crime or offence, I should suffer from disorders thus great! The terrors of great Heaven are excessive, But indeed I have committed no crime. (The terrors of) great Heaven are very excessive, But indeed I have committed no offence.
Ode 6, Stanzas 5 and 6.
The Hsiang Po.
The proud are delighted, And the troubled are in sorrow. O azure Heaven! O azure Heaven! Look on those proud men, Pity those who are troubled.
Those slanderers! Who devised their schemes for them? I would take those slanderers, And throw them to wolves and tigers. If these refused to devour them, I would cast them into the north1 . If the north refused to receive them, I would throw them into the hands of great (Heaven)2 .
The Tâ Tung.
I give the whole of this piece, because it is an interesting instance of Sabian views. The writer, despairing of help from men, appeals to Heaven; but he distributes the Power that could help him among many heavenly bodies, supposing that there are spiritual beings in them, taking account of human affairs.
Well loaded with millet were the dishes, And long and curved were the spoons of thorn-wood. The way to Kâu was like a whetstone, And straight as an arrow. (So) the officers trod it, And the common people looked on it. When I look back and think of it, My tears run down in streams.
In the states of the east, large and small, The looms are empty. Then shoes of dolichos fibre Are made to serve to walk on the hoar-frost. Slight and elegant gentlemen1 . Walk along that road to Kâu. Their going and coming makes my heart sad.
Ye cold waters, issuing variously from the spring, Do not soak the firewood I have cut. Sorrowful I awake and sigh;—Alas for us toiled people! The firewood has been cut;—Would that it were conveyed home! Alas for us the toiled people! Would that we could have rest1 !
The sons of the east. Are summoned only (to service), without encouragement; While the sons of the west Shine in splendid dresses. The sons of boatmen. Have furs of the bear and grisly bear. The sons of the poorest families. Form the officers in public employment.
If we present them with spirits, They regard them as not fit to be called liquor. If we give them long girdle pendants with their stones, They do not think them long enough.
Although they go through their seven stages, They complete no bright work for us. Brilliant shine the Draught Oxen4 , But they do not serve to draw our carts. In the east there is Lucifer5 ; In the west there is Hesperus ; Long and curved is the Rabbit Net of the sky1 ;—But they only occupy their places.
In the south is the Sieve2 , But it is of no use to sift. In the north is the Ladle3 , But it lades out no liquor. In the south is the Sieve, Idly showing its mouth. In the north is the Ladle, Raising its handle in the west.
The Sixth Decade, or that of Pei Shan.
Ode 3, Stanzas 1, 4, and 5.
The Hsiâo Ming.
O bright and high Heaven, Who enlightenest and rulest this lower world! I marched on this expedition to the west, As far as this wilderness of Khiû. From the first day of the second month, I have passed through the cold and the heat. My heart is sad; The poison (of my lot) is too bitter. I think of those (at court) in their offices, And my tears flow down like rain. Do I not wish to return? But I fear the net for crime.
Ah! ye gentlemen, Do not reckon on your rest being permanent. Quietly fulfil the duties of your offices, Associating with the correct and upright; So shall the spirits hearken to you, And give you good.
Ah! ye gentlemen, Do not reckon on your repose being permanent. Quietly fulfil the duties of your offices, Loving the correct and upright; So shall the spirits hearken to you, And give you large measures of bright happiness.
The Khû Ȝhze.
See the remarks on the Services of the Ancestral Temple, pp. 300, 301.
Thick grew the tribulus (on the ground), But they cleared away its thorny bushes. Why did they this of old? That we might plant our millet and sacrificial millet; That our millet might be abundant, And our sacrificial millet luxuriant. When our barns are full, And our stacks can be counted by tens of myriads, We proceed to make spirits and prepared grain, For offerings and sacrifice. We seat the representatives of the dead, and urge them to eat1 :—Thus seeking to increase our bright happiness.
With correct and reverent deportment, The bulls and rams all pure, We proceed to the winter and autumnal sacrifices. Some flay (the victims); some cook (their flesh); Some arrange (the meat); some adjust (the pieces of it). The officer of prayer sacrifices inside the temple gate1 , And all the sacrificial service is complete and brilliant. Grandly come our progenitors; Their spirits happily enjoy the offerings; Their filial descendant receives blessing:—They will reward him with great happiness, With myriads of years, life without end.
They attend to the furnaces with reverence; They prepare the trays, which are very large;—Some for the roast meat, some for the broiled. Wives presiding are still and reverent2 , Preparing the numerous (smaller) dishes. The guests and visitors3 Present the cup all round4 . Every form is according to rule; Every smile and word are as they should be. The spirits quietly come, And respond with great blessings,—Myriads of years as the (fitting) reward.
We are very much exhausted, And have performed every ceremony without error. The able officer of prayer announces (the will of the spirits)1 , And goes to the filial descendant to convey it :—‘Fragrant has been your filial sacrifice, And the spirits have enjoyed your spirits and viands. They confer on you a hundred blessings; Each as it is desired, Each as sure as law. You have been exact and expeditious; You have been correct and careful; They will ever confer on you the choicest favours, In myriads and tens of myriads.’
The ceremonies having thus been completed, And the bells and drums having given their warning2 , The filial descendant goes to his place3 , And the able officer of prayer makes his announcement, ‘The spirits have drunk to the full.’ The great representatives of the dead then rise, And the bells and drums escort their withdrawal, (On which) the spirits tranquilly return (to whence they came)4 . All the servants, and the presiding wives, Remove (the trays and dishes) without delay. The (sacrificer’s) uncles and cousins. All repair to the private feast1 .
The musicians all go in to perform, And give their soothing aid at the second blessing2 . Your3 viands are set forth; There is no dissatisfaction, but all feel happy. They drink to the full, and eat to the full; Great and small, they bow their heads, (saying), ‘The spirits enjoyed your spirits and viands, And will cause you to live long. Your sacrifices, all in their seasons, Are completely discharged by you. May your sons and your grandsons. Never fail to perpetuate these services!’
The Hsin Nan Shan.
The Preface refers this piece to the reign of king Yû; but there is nothing in it to suggest the idea of its having been made in a time of disorder and misgovernment. ‘The distant descendant’ in the first stanza is evidently the principal in the sacrifice of the last two stanzas:—according to Kû, a noble or great landholder in the royal domain; according to others, some one of the kings of Kâu. I incline myself to this latter view. The three pieces, of which this is the middle one, seem all to be royal odes. The mention of ‘the southern hill’ strongly confirms this view.
Yes, (all about) that southern hill. Was made manageable by Yü1 . Its plains and marshes being opened up, It was made into fields by the distant descendant. We define their boundaries, We form their smaller divisions, And make the acres lie, here to the south, there to the east.
The heavens overhead are one arch of clouds, Snowing in multitudinous flakes; There is super-added the drizzling rain. When (the land) has received the moistening, Soaking influence abundantly, It produces all our kinds of grain.
The boundaries and smaller divisions are nicely adjusted, And the millets yield abundant crops, The harvest of the distant descendant. We proceed to make therewith spirits and food, To supply our representatives of the departed, and our guests;—To obtain long life, extending over myriads of years.
In the midst of the fields are the huts2 , And along the bounding divisions are gourds. The fruit is sliced and pickled, To be presented to our great ancestors, That their distant descendant may have long life, And receive the blessing of Heaven1 .
We sacrifice (first) with clear spirits, And then follow with a red bull; Offering them to our ancestors, (Our lord) holds the knife with tinkling bells, To lay open the hair of the victim, And takes the blood and fat2 .
Then we present, then we offer; All round the fragrance is diffused. Complete and brilliant is the sacrificial service; Grandly come our ancestors. They will reward (their descendant) with great blessing, Long life, years without end.
The Phû Thien.
It is difficult to say who the ‘I’ in the piece is, but evidently he and the ‘distant descendant’ are different persons. I suppose he may have been an officer, who had charge of the farms, as we may call them, in the royal domain.
Bright are those extensive fields, A tenth of whose produce is annually levied3 . I take the old stores, And with them feed the husbandmen. From of old we have had good years; And now I go to the south-lying acres, Where some are weeding, and some gather the earth about the roots. The millets look luxuriant; And in a spacious resting-place, I collect and encourage the men of greater promise1 .
With my vessels full of bright millet, And my pure victim-rams, We sacrificed at the altar of the spirits of the land, and at (the altars of those of the four) quarters2 . That my fields are in such good condition. Is matter of joy to the husbandmen. With lutes, and with drums beating, We will invoke the Father of Husbandry3 , And pray for sweet rain, To increase the produce of our millets, And to bless my men and their wives.
The distant descendant comes, When their wives and children. Are bringing food to those (at work) in the south-lying acres. The surveyor of the fields (also) comes and is glad. He takes (of the food) on the left and the right, And tastes whether it be good or not. The grain is well cultivated, all the acres over; Good will it be and abundant. The distant descendant has no displacency; The husbandmen are encouraged to diligence.
The crops of the distant descendant Look (thick) as thatch, and (swelling) like a carriage-cover. His stacks will stand like islands and mounds. He will seek for thousands of granaries; He will seek for tens of thousands of carts. The millets, the paddy, and the maize. Will awake the joy of the husbandmen; (And they will say), ‘May he be rewarded with great happiness, With myriads of years, life without end!’
The Tâ Thien.
Large are the fields, and various is the work to be done. Having selected the seed, and looked after the implements, So that all preparations have been made for our labour, We take our sharp plough-shares, And commence on the south-lying acres. We sow all the kinds of grain, Which grow up straight and large, So that the wish of the distant descendant is satisfied.
It ears and the fruit lies soft in its sheath; It hardens and is of good quality; There is no wolf’s-tail grass nor darnel. We remove the insects that eat the heart and the leaf, And those that eat the roots and the joints, So that they shall not hurt the young plants of our fields. May the spirit, the Father of Husbandry1 , Lay hold of them, and put them in the blazing fire!
The clouds form in dense masses, And the rain comes down slowly. May it first rain on our public fields1 , And then come to our private ! Yonder shall be young grain unreaped, And here some bundles ungathered; Yonder shall be handfuls left on the ground, And here ears untouched:—For the benefit of the widow2 .
The distant descendant will come, When their wives and children. Are bringing food to those (at work) on the south-lying acres. The surveyor of the fields (also) will come and be glad. They will come and offer pure sacrifices to (the spirits of the four) quarters, With their victims red and black3 , With their preparations of millet:—Thus offering, thus sacrificing, Thus increasing our bright happiness.
The Seventh Decade, or that of Sang Hû.
Ode 1, Stanza 1.
The Sang Hû.
Ode 6, Stanzas 1 and 2.
The Pin kih khû yen.
There are good grounds for referring the authorship of this piece to duke Wû of Wei (bc 812 to 758), who played an important part in the kingdom, during the affairs which terminated in the death of king Yû, and the removal of the capital from Hâo to Lo. The piece, we may suppose, is descriptive of things as they were at the court of king Yû.
When the guests first approach the mats2 , They take their places on the left and the right in an orderly manner. The dishes of bamboo and wood are arranged in rows, With the sauces and kernels displayed in them. The spirits are mild and good, And they drink, all equally reverent. The bells and drums are properly arranged3 , And they raise their pledge-cups with order and ease4 . (Then) the great target is set up; The bows and arrows are made ready for the shooting. The archers are arranged in classes; ‘Show your skill in shooting,’ (it is said by one). ‘I shall hit that mark’ (is the response), ‘And pray you to drink the cup1 .’
The dancers move with their flutes to the notes of the organ and drum, While all the instruments perform in harmony. All this is done to please the meritorious ancestors, Along with the observance of all ceremonies. When all the ceremonies have been fully performed, Grandly and fully, (The personators of the dead say), ‘We confer on you great blessings, And may your descendants also be happy!’ These are happy and delighted, And each of them exerts his ability. A guest2 draws the spirits; An attendant enters again with a cup, And fills it,—the cup of rest . Thus are performed your seasonal ceremonies3 .
The Eighth Decade, or that of Po Hwâ.
Ode 5, Stanzas 1 and 2.
The Po Hwâ.
The fibres from the white-flowered rush. Are bound with the white grass1 . This man’s sending me away makes me dwell solitary.
THE MAJOR ODES OF THE KINGDOM.
The First Decade, or that of WĂn Wang.
The WĂn Wang.
The composition of this and the other pieces of this decade is attributed to the duke of Kâu, king Wăn’s son, and was intended by him for the benefit of his nephew, the young king Khăng. Wăn, it must be borne in mind, was never actually king of China. He laid the foundations of the kingly power, which was established by his son king Wû, and consolidated by the duke of Kâu. The title of king was given to him and to others by the duke, according to the view of filial piety, that has been referred to on p. 299.
King Wăn is on high. Oh! bright is he in heaven. Although Kâu was an old country, The (favouring) appointment lighted on it recently1 . Illustrious was the House of Kâu, And the appointment of God came at the proper season. King Wăn ascends and descends. On the left and the right of God1 .
Full of earnest activity was king Wăn, And his fame is without end. The gifts (of God) to Kâu Extend to the descendants of king Wăn, In the direct line and the collateral branches for a hundred generations2 . All the officers of Kâu. Shall (also) be illustrious from age to age.
They shall be illustrious from age to age, Zealously and reverently pursuing their plans. Admirable are the many officers, Born in this royal kingdom. The royal kingdom is able to produce them, The supporters of (the House of) Kâu. Numerous is the array of officers, And by them king Wăn enjoys his repose.
Profound was king Wăn; Oh! continuous and bright was his feeling of reverence. Great is the appointment of Heaven! There were the descendants of (the sovereigns of) Shang3 —The descendants of the sovereigns of Shang. Were in number more than hundreds of thousands. But when God gave the command, They became subject to Kâu.
They became subject to Kâu, (For) the appointment of Heaven is not unchangeable. The officers of Yin, admirable and alert, Assist at the libations in our capital1 . They assist at those libations, Always wearing the hatchet-figures on their lower garments and their peculiar cap2 . O ye loyal ministers of the king, Ever think of your ancestor!
Ever think of your ancestor, Cultivating your virtue, Always seeking to accord with the will (of Heaven):—So shall you be seeking for much happiness, Before Yin lost the multitudes, (Its kings) were the correlates of God3 . Look to Yin as a beacon; The great appointment is not easily preserved.
The appointment is not easily (preserved):—Do not cause your own extinction. Display and make bright your righteousness and fame, And look at (the fate of) Yin in the light of Heaven. The doings of high Heaven. Have neither sound nor smell1 . Take your pattern from king Wăn, And the myriad regions will repose confidence in you.
The Tâ Ming.
The illustration of illustrious (virtue) is required below, And the dread majesty is on high2 . Heaven is not readily to be relied on; It is not easy to be king. Yin’s rightful heir to the heavenly seat Was not permitted to possess the kingdom.
Zăn, the second of the princesses of Kih3 , From (the domain of) Yin-shang, Came to be married to (the prince of) Kâu, And became his wife in his capital. Both she and king Kî. Were entirely virtuous. (Then) Thâi-zăn became pregnant, And gave birth to our king Wăn.
This king Wăn, Watchfully and reverently, With entire intelligence served God, And so secured the great blessing. His virtue was without deflection; And in consequence he received (the allegiance of) the states from all quarters.
Heaven surveyed this lower world; And its appointment lighted (on king Wăn). In his early years, It made for him a mate1 ;—On the north of the Hsiâ, On the banks of the Wei. When king Wăn would marry, There was the lady in a large state2 .
In a large state was the lady, Like a fair denizen of heaven. The ceremonies determined the auspiciousness (of the union)3 , And in person he met her on the Wei. Over it he made a bridge of boats; The glory (of the occasion) was illustrious.
The favouring appointment was from Heaven, Giving the throne to our king Wăn, In the capital of Kâu. The lady-successor was from Hsin, Its eldest daughter, who came to marry him. She was blessed to give birth to king Wû, Who was preserved, and helped, and received (also) the appointment, And in accordance with it smote the great Shang.
The troops of Yin-shang. Were collected like a forest, And marshalled in the wilderness of Mû. We rose (to the crisis); ‘God is with you,’ (said Shang-fû to the king), ‘Have no doubts in your heart1 .’
The wilderness of Mû spread out extensive; Bright shone the chariots of sandal; The teams of bays, black-maned and white-bellied, galloped along; The Grand-Master Shang-fû. Was like an eagle on the wing, Assisting king Wû, Who at one onset smote the great Shang. That morning’s encounter was followed by a clear, bright (day).
‘The ancient duke Than-fû’ was the grandfather of king Wăn, and was canonized by the duke of Kâu as ‘king Thâi.’ As mentioned in a note on p. 316, he was the first of his family to settle in Kâu, removing there from Pin, the site of their earlier settlement, ‘the country about the Khü and the Khî.’
In long trains ever increasing grow the gourds2 . When (our) people first sprang, From the country about the Khü and the Khî3 , The ancient duke Than-fû. Made for them kiln-like huts and caves, Ere they had yet any houses1 .
The ancient duke Than-fû. Came in the morning, galloping his horses, Along the banks of the western rivers, To the foot of mount Khî2 ; And there he and the lady Kiang3 . Came and together looked out for a site.
The plain of Kâu looked beautiful and rich, With its violets, and sowthistles (sweet) as dumplings. There he began by consulting (with his followers); There he singed the tortoise-shell, (and divined). The responses were there to stay and then; And they proceeded there to build4 .
He encouraged the people, and settled them; Here on the left, there on the right. He divided the ground, and subdivided it; He dug the ditches; he defined the acres. From the east to the west, There was nothing which he did not take in hand5 .
He called his Superintendent of Works; He called his Minister of Instruction; And charged them with the rearing of the houses. With the line they made everything straight; They bound the frame-boards tight, so that they should rise regularly: Uprose the ancestral temple in its solemn grandeur1 .
Crowds brought the earth in baskets; They threw it with shouts into the frames; They beat it with responsive blows. They pared the walls repeatedly, till they sounded strong. Five thousand cubits of them arose together, So that the roll of the great drums did not overpower (the noise of the builders)2 .
They reared the outer gate (of the palace), Which rose in lofty state. They set up the gate of audience, Which rose severe and exact. They reared the great altar to the spirits of the land, From which all great movements should proceed3 .
Thus though he could not prevent the rage of his foes1 , He did not let fall his own fame. The oaks and the buckthorns were (gradually) thinned, And roads for travellers were opened. The hordes of the Khwăn disappeared, Startled and panting.
(The chiefs of) Yü and Zui2 were brought to an agreement By king Wăn’s stimulating their natural virtue. Then, I may say, some came to him, previously not knowing him; Some, drawn the last by the first; Some, drawn by his rapid successes; And some by his defence (of the weak) from insult.
Ode 4, Stanzas 1 and 2.
The Yî Pho.
Abundant is the growth of the buckthorn and shrubby trees, Supplying firewood; yea, stores of it1 . Elegant and dignified was our prince and king; On the left and the right they hastened to him.
Elegant and dignified was our prince and king; On his left and his right they bore their half-mace (libation-cups)2 :—They bore them with solemn gravity, As beseemed such eminent officers.
The Han Lû.
Massive is that libation-cup of jade, With the yellow liquid sparkling in it1 . Easy and self-possessed was our prince, The fit recipient of blessing and dignity.
The hawk flies up to heaven, The fishes leap in the deep2 . Easy and self-possessed was our prince:—Did he not exert an influence on men?
His clear spirits were in the vessels; His red bull was ready3 ;—To offer, to sacrifice, To increase his bright happiness.
Thick grow the oaks and the buckthorn, Which the people use for fuel4 . Easy and self-possessed was our prince, Cheered and encouraged by the spirits .
Luxuriant are the dolichos and other creepers, Clinging to the branches and stems. Easy and self-possessed was our prince, Seeking for happiness by no crooked ways.
The Sze Kâi.
He conformed to the example of his ancestors, And their spirits had no occasion for complaint. Their spirits had no occasion for dissatisfaction; And his example acted on his wife, Extended to his brethren, And was felt by all the clans and states.
Full of harmony was he in his palace; Full of reverence in the ancestral temple. Unseen (by men), he still felt that he was under inspection3 : Unweariedly he maintained his virtue.
Though he could not prevent (some) great calamities, His brightness and magnanimity were without stain. Without previous instruction he did what was right; Without admonition he went on (in the path of goodness).
So, grown up men became virtuous (through him), And young men made (constant) attainments. (Our) ancient prince never felt weariness, And from him were the fame and eminence of his officers.
The Hwang Î.
Great is God, Beholding this lower world in majesty. He surveyed the four quarters (of the kingdom), Seeking for some one to give establishment to the people. Those two earlier dynasties1 Had failed to satisfy him with their government; So, throughout the various states, He sought and considered. For one on whom he might confer the rule. Hating all the great states, He turned his kind regards on the west, And there gave a settlement (to king Thâi).
(King Thâi) raised up and removed. The dead trunks and the fallen trees. He dressed and regulated. The bushy clumps and the (tangled) rows. He opened up and cleared The tamarisk trees and the stave trees. He hewed and thinned The mountain mulberry trees. God having brought about the removal thither of this intelligent ruler, The Kwan hordes fled away2 . Heaven had raised up a helpmeet for him, And the appointment he had received was made sure.
God surveyed the hills, Where the oaks and the buckthorn were thinned, And paths made through the firs and cypresses. God, who had raised the state, raised up a proper ruler1 for it,—From the time of Thâi-po and king Kî (this was done) . Now this king Kî. In his heart was full of brotherly duty. Full of duty to his elder brother, He gave himself the more to promote the prosperity (of the country), And secured to him the glory (of his act)2 . He accepted his dignity and did not lose it, And (ere long his family) possessed the whole kingdom.
This king Kî. Was gifted by God with the power of judgment, So that the fame of his virtue silently grew. His virtue was highly intelligent,—Highly intelligent, and of rare discrimination; Able to lead, able to rule, To rule over this great country; Rendering a cordial submission, effecting a cordial union3 . When (the sway) came to king Wăn, His virtue left nothing to be dissatisfied with, He received the blessing of God, And it was extended to his descendants.
God said to king Wăn1 , ‘Be not like those who reject this and cling to that; Be not like those who are ruled by their likings and desires;’ So he grandly ascended before others to the height (of virtue). The people of Mî2 were disobedient, Daring to oppose our great country, And invaded Yüan, marching to Kung3 . The king rose, majestic in his wrath; He marshalled his troops, To stop the invading foes; To consolidate the prosperity of Kâu; To meet the expectations of all under heaven.
He remained quietly in the capital, But (his troops) went on from the borders of Yüan. They ascended our lofty ridges, And (the enemy) arrayed no forces on our hills, On our hills, small or large, Nor drank at our springs, Our springs or our pools. He then determined the finest of the plains, And settled on the south of Khî4 , On the banks of the Wei, The centre of all the states, The resort of the lower people.
God said to king Wăn, ‘I am pleased with your intelligent virtue, Not loudly proclaimed nor pourtrayed, Without extravagance or changeableness, Without consciousness of effort on your part, In accordance with the pattern of God.’ God said to king Wăn, ‘Take measures against the country of your foes. Along with your brethren, Get ready your scaling ladders, And your engines of onfall and assault, To attack the walls of Khung1 .’
The engines of onfall and assault were (at first) gently plied, Against the walls of Khung high and and great; Captives for the question were brought in, one after another; The left ears (of the slain) were taken leisurely2 . He had sacrificed to God and to the Father of War3 , Thus seeking to induce submission, And throughout the region none had dared to insult him. The engines of onfall and assault were (then) vigorously plied, Against the walls of Khung very strong. He attacked it, and let loose all his forces; He extinguished (its sacrifices)1 , and made an end of its existence; And throughout the kingdom none dared to oppose him.
The Hsiâ Wû.
Successors tread in the steps (of their predecessors) in our Kâu. For generations there had been wise kings; The three sovereigns were in heaven2 ; And king (Wû) was their worthy successor in his capital3 .
King (Wû) was their worthy successor in his capital, Rousing himself to seek for the hereditary virtue, Always striving to be in accordance with the will (of Heaven); And thus he secured the confidence due to a king.
He secured the confidence due to a king, And became the pattern of all below him. Ever thinking how to be filial, His filial mind was the model (which he supplied).
Men loved him, the One man, And responded (to his example) with a docile virtue. Ever thinking how to be filial, He brilliantly continued the doings (of his fathers).
Brilliantly! and his posterity, Continuing to walk in the steps of their forefathers, For myriads of years, Will receive the blessing of Heaven.
They will receive the blessing of Heaven, And from the four quarters (of the kingdom) will felicitations come to them. For myriads of years Will there not be their helpers?
The WĂn Wang yû ShĂng.
King Wăn is famous; Yea, he is very famous. What he sought was the repose (of the people); What he saw was the completion (of his work). A sovereign true was king Wăn!
He repaired the walls along the (old) moat. His establishing himself in Făng was according to (the pattern of his forefathers), It was not that he was in haste to gratify his wishes;—It was to show the filial duty that had come down to him. A sovereign true was the royal prince!
His royal merit was brightly displayed By those walls of Făng. There were collected (the sympathies of the people of) the four quarters, Who regarded the royal prince as their protector. A sovereign true was the royal prince!
The Făng-water flowed on to the east (of the city), Through the meritorious labour of Yü. There were collected (the sympathies of the people of) the four quarters, Who would have the great king as their ruler. A sovereign true was the great king1 !
In the capital of Hâo he built his hall with its circlet of water2 . From the west to the east, From the south to the north, There was not a thought but did him homage. A sovereign true was the great king!
He examined and divined, did the king, About settling in the capital of Hâo. The tortoise-shell decided the site3 , And king Wû completed the city. A sovereign true was king Wû!
By the Făng-water grows the white millet1 ;—Did not king Wû show wisdom in his employment of officers? He would leave his plans to his descendants, And secure comfort and support to his son. A sovereign true was king Wû!
The Second Decade, or that of Shăng Min.
The ShĂng Min.
Of Hâu-kî there is some notice on the tenth ode of the first decade of the Sacrificial Odes of Kâu. To him the kings of Kâu traced their lineage. Of Kiang Yüan, his mother, our knowledge is very scanty. It is said that she was a daughter of the House of Thâi, which traced its lineage up to Shăn-nung in præhistoric times. From the first stanza of this piece it appears that she was married, and had been so for some time without having any child. But who her husband was it is impossible to say with certainty. As the Kâu surname was Kî, he must have been one of the descendants of Hwang Tî.
The first birth of (our) people2 . Was from Kiang Yüan. How did she give birth to (our) people? She had presented a pure offering and sacrificed3 , That her childlessness might be taken away. She then trod on a toe-print made by God, and was moved1 , In the large place where she rested. She became pregnant; she dwelt retired; She gave birth to, and nourished (a son), Who was Hâu-kî.
When she had fulfilled her months, Her first-born son (came forth) like a lamb. There was no bursting, nor rending, No injury, no hurt; Showing how wonderful he would be. Did not God give her the comfort? Had he not accepted her pure offering and sacrifice, So that thus easily she brought forth her son?
He was placed in a narrow lane, But the sheep and oxen protected him with loving care2 . He was placed in a wide forest, Where he was met with by the wood-cutters. He was placed on the cold ice, And a bird screened and supported him with its wings. When the bird went away, Hâu-kî began to wail. His cry was long and loud, So that his voice filled the whole way .
When he was able to crawl, He looked majestic and intelligent. When he was able to feed himself, He fell to planting beans. The beans grew luxuriantly; His rows of paddy shot up beautifully; His hemp and wheat grew strong and close; His gourds yielded abundantly.
The husbandry of Hâu-kî Proceeded on the plan of helping (the growth). Having cleared away the thick grass, He sowed the ground with the yellow cereals. He managed the living grain, till it was ready to burst; Then he used it as seed, and it sprang up; It grew and came into ear; It became strong and good; It hung down, every grain complete; And thus he was appointed lord of Thâi1 .
He gave (his people) the beautiful grains;—The black millet and the double-kernelled, The tall red and the white. They planted extensively the black and the double-kernelled, Which were reaped and stacked on the ground. They planted extensively the tall red and the white, Which were carried on their shoulders and backs, Home for the sacrifices which he founded2 .
And how as to our sacrifices (continued from him)? Some hull (the grain); some take it from the mortar; Some sift it; some tread it. It is rattling in the dishes; It is distilled, and the steam floats about. We consult1 ; we observe the rites of purification; We take southernwood and offer it with the fat; We sacrifice a ram to the spirit of the path2 ; We offer roast flesh and broiled:—And thus introduce the coming year3 .
We load the stands with the offerings, The stands both of wood and of earthenware. As soon as the fragrance ascends, God, well pleased, smells the sweet savour. Fragrant it is, and in its due season4 . Hâu-kî founded our sacrifices, And no one, we presume, has given occasion for blame or regret in regard to them, Down to the present day.
The Hsin Wei.
This ode is given here, because it is commonly taken as a prelude to the next. Kû Hsî interprets it of the feast, given by the king, at the close of the sacrifice in the ancestral temple, to the princes of his own surname. There are difficulties in the interpretation of the piece on this view, which, however, is to be preferred to any other.
In thick patches are those rushes, Springing by the way-side:—Let not the cattle and sheep trample them. Anon they will grow up; anon they will be completely formed, With their leaves soft and glossy1 . Closely related are brethren; Let none be absent, let all be near. For some there are mats spread; For some there are given stools2 .
The mats are spread, and a second one above; The stools are given, and there are plenty of servants. (The guests) are pledged, and they pledge (the host) in return; He rinses the cups (and refills them, but the guests) put them down, Sauces and pickles are brought in, With roasted meat and broiled. Excellent provisions there are of tripe and palates; With singing to lutes, and with drums.
The ornamented bows are strong, And the four arrows are all balanced. They discharge the arrows, and all hit, And the guests are arranged according to their skill. The ornamented bows are drawn to the full, And the arrows are grasped in the hand. They go straight to the mark as if planted in it, And the guests are arranged according to the humble propriety of their behaviour.
The distant descendant presides over the feast; His sweet spirits are strong. He fills their cups from a large vase, And prays for the hoary old (among his guests):—That with hoary age and wrinkled back, They may lead on one another (to virtue), and support one another (in it); That so their old age may be blessed, And their bright happiness ever increased.
The Kî Ȝui.
You have made us drink to the full of your spirits; You have satiated us with your kindness. May you enjoy, O our lord, myriads of years! May your bright happiness (ever) be increased!
You have made us drink to the full of your spirits; Your viands were set out before us. May you enjoy, O our lord, myriads of years! May your bright intelligence ever be increased!
May your bright intelligence become perfect, High and brilliant, leading to a good end! That good end has (now) its beginning:—The personators of your ancestors announced it in their blessing.
What was their announcement? ‘(The offerings) in your dishes of bamboo and wood are clean and fine. Your friends1 , assisting in the service, Have done their part with reverent demeanour.
‘Your reverent demeanour was altogether what the occasion required; And also that of your filial son2 . For such filial piety, continued without ceasing, There will ever be conferred blessings upon you.’
What will the blessings be? ‘That along the passages of your palace, You shall move for ten thousand years, And there will be granted to you for ever dignity and posterity.’
How as to your posterity? ‘Heaven invests you with your dignity; Yea, for ten thousand years, The bright appointment is attached (to your line).’
How is it attached? ‘There is given you a heroic wife. There is given you a heroic wife, And from her shall come the (line of) descendants.’
The Hû Î.
This supplementary sacrifice on the day after the principal service in the temple appeared in the ninth Book of the fourth Part of the Shû; and of the feast after it to the personators of the dead I have spoken on p. 301.
The wild-ducks and widgeons are on the King3 ; The personators of your ancestors feast and are happy. Your spirits are clear; Your viands are fragrant. The personators of your ancestors feast and drink;—Their happiness and dignity are made complete.
The wild-ducks and widgeons are on the sand; The personators of the dead enjoy the feast, their appropriate tribute. Your spirits are abundant; Your viands are good. The personators of your ancestors feast and drink;—Happiness and dignity lend them their aids.
The wild-ducks and widgeons are on the islets; The personators of your ancestors feast and enjoy themselves. Your spirits are strained; Your viands are in slices. The personators of your ancestors feast and drink;—Happiness and dignity descend on them.
The wild-ducks and widgeons are where the waters meet; The personators of your ancestors feast and are honoured. The feast is spread in the ancestral temple. The place where happiness and dignity descend. The personators of your ancestors feast and drink;—Their happiness and dignity are at the highest point.
The wild-ducks and widgeons are in the gorge; The personators of your ancestors rest, full of complacency. The fine spirits are delicious; Your meat, roast and broiled, is fragrant. The personators of your ancestors feast and drink;—No troubles will be theirs after this.
Ode 5, Stanza 1.
The Kiâ Lo.
Perhaps the response of the feasted personators of the ancestors.
Of our admirable, amiable sovereign. Most illustrious is the excellent virtue. He orders rightly the people, orders rightly the officers, And receives his dignity from Heaven, Which protects and helps him, and (confirms) his appointment, By repeated acts of renewal from heaven.
The Khüan Â.
The duke of Shâo was the famous Shih, who appears in the fifth and other Books of the fifth Part of the Shû, the colleague of the duke of Kâu in the early days of the Kâu dynasty. This piece may have been composed by him, but there is no evidence in it that it was so. The assigning it to him rests entirely on the authority of the preface. The language, however, is that in which an old statesman of that time might express his complacency in his young sovereign.
Into the recesses of the large mound. Came the wind, whirling from the south. There was (our) happy, courteous sovereign, Rambling and singing; And I took occasion to give forth my notes.
‘Full of spirits you ramble; Full of satisfaction you rest. O happy and courteous sovereign, May you fulfil your years, And end them like your ancestors!
‘Your territory is great and glorious, And perfectly secure. O happy and courteous sovereign, May you fulfil your years, As the host of all the spirits1 !
‘You have received the appointment long acknowledged, With peace around your happiness and dignity. O happy and courteous sovereign, May you fulfil your years, With pure happiness your constant possession!
‘You have helpers and supporters, Men of filial piety and of virtue, To lead you on, and act as wings to you, (So that), O happy and courteous sovereign, You are a pattern to the four quarters (of the kingdom).
‘Full of dignity and majesty (are they), Like a jade-mace(in its purity), The subject of praise, the contemplation of hope. O happy and courteous sovereign, (Through them) the four quarters (of the kingdom) are guided by you.
‘The male and female phœnix fly about1 , Their wings rustling, While they settle in their proper resting-place. Many are your admirable officers, O king, Ready to be employed by you, Loving you, the Son of Heaven.
‘The male and female phœnix fly about, Their wings rustling, As they soar up to heaven. Many are your admirable officers, O king, Waiting for your commands, And loving the multitudes of the people.
‘The male and female phœnix give out their notes, On that lofty ridge. The dryandras grow, On those eastern slopes. They grow luxuriantly; And harmoniously the notes resound.
‘Your chariots, O sovereign, Are numerous, many. Your horses, O sovereign, Are well trained and fleet. I have made my few verses, In prolongation of your song.’
Ode 9, Stanza 1.
The Min Lâo.
With the Khüan Â, what are called the ‘correct’ odes of Part III, or those belonging to a period of good government, and the composition of which is ascribed mainly to the duke of Kâu, come to an end; and those that follow are the ‘changed’ Major Odes of the Kingdom, or those belonging to a degenerate period, commencing with this. Some among them, however, are equal to any of the former class. The Min Lâo has been assigned to duke Mû of Shâo, a descendant of duke Khang, the Shih of the Shû, the reputed author of the Khüan Â, and was directed against king Lî, bc 878 to 828.
The people indeed are heavily burdened, But perhaps a little relief may be got for them. Let us cherish this centre of the kingdom, To secure the repose of the four quarters of it. Let us give no indulgence to the wily and obsequious, In order to make the unconscientious careful, And to repress robbers and oppressors, Who have no fear of the clear will (of Heaven)1 . Then let us show kindness to those who are distant, And help those who are near,—Thus establishing (the throne of) our king.
This piece, like the last, is assigned to the time of king Lî.
God has reversed (his usual course of procedure)1 , And the lower people are full of distress. The words which you utter are not right; The plans which you form are not far-reaching. As there are not sages, you think you have no guidance;—You have no real sincerity. (Thus) your plans do not reach far, And I therefore strongly admonish you.
Heaven is now sending down calamities;—Do not be so complacent. Heaven is now producing such movements;—Do not be so indifferent. If your words were harmonious, The people would become united. If your words were gentle and kind, The people would be settled.
Though my duties are different from yours, I am your fellow-servant. I come to advise with you, And you hear me with contemptuous indifference. My words are about the (present urgent) affairs;—Do not think them matter for laughter. The ancients had a saying:—‘Consult the gatherers of grass and firewood2 .’
Heaven is now exercising oppression;—Do not in such a way make a mock of things. An old man, (I speak) with entire sincerity; But you, my juniors, are full of pride. It is not that my words are those of age, But you make a joke of what is sad. But the troubles will multiply like flames, Till they are beyond help or remedy.
Heaven is now displaying its anger;—Do not be either boastful or flattering, Utterly departing from all propriety of demeanour, Till good men are reduced to personators of the dead1 . The people now sigh and groan, And we dare not examine (into the causes of their trouble). The ruin and disorder are exhausting all their means of living, And we show no kindness to our multitudes.
Heaven enlightens the people2 , As the bamboo flute responds to the earthen whistle; As two half-maces form a whole one; As you take a thing, and bring it away in your hand, Bringing it away, without any more ado. The enlightenment of the people is very easy. They have (now) many perversities;—Do not you set up your perversity before them.
Good men are a fence; The multitudes of the people are a wall; Great states are screens; Great families are buttresses; The cherishing of virtue secures repose; The circle of (the king’s) relatives is a fortified wall. We must not let the fortified wall get destroyed; We must not let (the king) be solitary and consumed with terrors.
Revere the anger of Heaven, And presume not to make sport or be idle. Revere the changing moods of Heaven, And presume not to drive about (at your pleasure). Great Heaven is intelligent, And is with you in all your goings. Great Heaven is clear-seeing, And is with you in your wanderings and indulgences.
The Third Decade, or that of Tang.
This ode, like the ninth of the second decade, is attributed to duke Mû of Shâo. The structure of the piece is peculiar, for, after the first stanza, we have king Wăn introduced delivering a series of warnings to Kâu-hsin, the last king of the Shang dynasty. They are put into Wăn’s mouth, in the hope that Lî, if, indeed, he was the monarch whom the writer had in view, would transfer the figure of Kâu-hsin to himself, and alter his course so as to avoid a similar ruin.
How vast is God, The ruler of men below! How arrayed in terrors is God, With many things irregular in his ordinations. Heaven gave birth to the multitudes of the people, But the nature it confers is not to be depended on. All are (good) at first, But few prove themselves to be so at the last1 .
King Wăn said, ‘Alas! Alas! you sovereign of Shang, That you should have such violently oppressive ministers, That you should have such extortionate exactors, That you should have them in offices, That you should have them in the conduct of affairs! “Heaven made them with their insolent dispositions;” But it is you who employ them, and give them strength.’
King Wăn said, ‘Alas! Alas! you (sovereign of) Yin-shang, You ought to employ such as are good, But (you employ instead) violent oppressors, who cause many dissatisfactions. They respond to you with baseless stories, And (thus) robbers and thieves are in your court. Hence come oaths and curses, Without limit, without end.’
King Wăn said, ‘Alas! Alas! you (sovereign of) Yin-shang, You show a strong fierce will in the centre of the kingdom, And consider the contracting of enmities a proof of virtue. All-unintelligent are you of your (proper) virtue, And so you have no (good) men behind you, nor by your side. Without any intelligence of your (proper) virtue, You have no (good) intimate adviser or minister.’
King Wăn said, ‘Alas! Alas! you (sovereign of) Yin-shang, It is not Heaven that flushes your face with spirits, So that you follow what is evil and imitate it. You go wrong in all your conduct; You make no distinction between the light and the darkness; But amid clamour and shouting, You turn the day into night1 .’
King Wăn said, ‘Alas! Alas! you (sovereign of) Yin-shang, (All round you) is like the noise of cicadas, Or like the bubbling of boiling soup. Affairs, great and small, are approaching to ruin, And still you (and your creatures) go on in this course. Indignation is rife against you here in the Middle Kingdom, And extends to the demon regions2 .’
King Wăn said, ‘Alas! Alas! you (sovereign of) Yin-shang, It is not God that has caused this evil time, But it arises from Yin’s not using the old (ways). Although you have not old experienced men, There are still the ancient statutes and laws. But you will not listen to them, And so your great appointment is being overthrown.’
King Wăn said, ‘Alas! Alas! you (sovereign of) Shang, People have a saying, “When a tree falls utterly, While its branches and leaves are yet uninjured, It must first have been uprooted.” The beacon of Yin is not far distant;—It is in the age of the (last) sovereign of Hsiâ.’
The sixth ode in the seventh decade of the Minor Odes of the Kingdom is attributed to the same duke of Wei as this; and the two bear traces of having proceeded from the same writer. The external authorities for assigning this piece to duke Wû are the statement of the preface and an article in the ‘Narratives of the States,’ a work already referred to as belonging to the period of the Kâu dynasty. That article relates how Wû, at the age of ninety-five, insisted on all his ministers and officers being instant, in season and out of season, to admonish him on his conduct, and that ‘he made the warnings in the Î to admonish himself.’ The Î is understood to be only another name for this Yî. Thus the speaker throughout the piece is Wû, and ‘the young son,’ whom he sometimes addresses, is himself also. The conception of the writer in taking such a method to admonish himself, and give forth the lessons of his long life, is very remarkable; and the execution of it is successful.
Outward demeanour, cautious and grave, Is an indication of the (inward) virtue. People have the saying, ‘There is no wise man who is not (also) stupid.’ The stupidity of the ordinary man. Is determined by his (natural) defects. The stupidity of the wise man. Is from his doing violence (to his proper character).
What is most powerful is the being the man1 ;—In all quarters (of the state) men are influenced by it. To an upright virtuous conduct. All in the four quarters of the state render obedient homage. With great counsels and determinate orders, With far-reaching plans and timely announcements, And with reverent care of his outward demeanour, One will become the pattern of the people.
As for the circumstances of the present time, You are bent on error and confusion in your government. Your virtue is subverted; You are besotted by drink1 . Although you thus pursue nothing but pleasure, How is it you do not think of your relation to the past, And do not widely study the former kings, That you might hold fast their wise laws?
Shall not those whom great Heaven does not approve of, Surely as the waters flow from a spring, Sink down together in ruin? Rise early and go to bed late, Sprinkle and sweep your courtyard;—So as to be a pattern to the people2 . Have in good order your chariots and horses, Your bows and arrows, and (other) weapons of war;—To be prepared for warlike action, To keep at a distance (the hordes of) the south.
Perfect what concerns your officers and people; Be careful of your duties as a prince (of the kingdom). To be prepared for unforeseen dangers, Be cautious of what you say; Be reverentially careful of your outward behaviour; In all things be mild and correct. A flaw in a mace of white jade. May be ground away; But for a flaw in speech. Nothing can be done.
Do not speak lightly; your words are your own1 . Do not say, ‘This is of little importance; No one can hold my tongue for me.’ Words are not to be cast away. Every word finds its answer; Every good deed has its recompense. If you are gracious among your friends, And to the people, as if they were your children, Your descendants will continue in unbroken line, And all the people will surely be obedient to you.
Looked at in friendly intercourse with superior men, You make your countenance harmonious and mild; Anxious not to do anything wrong. Looked at in your chamber, You ought to be equally free from shame before the light which shines in. Do not say, ‘This place is not public; No one can see me here.’ The approaches of spiritual beings Cannot be calculated beforehand; But the more should they not be slighted2 .
O prince, let your practice of virtue Be entirely good and admirable. Watch well over your behaviour, And allow nothing wrong in your demeanour. Committing no excess, doing nothing injurious, There are few who will not in such a case take you for their pattern. When one throws to me a peach, I return to him a plum1 . To look for horns on a young ram. Will only weary you, my son2 .
The tough and elastic wood. Can be fitted with the silken string3 . The mild and respectful man Possesses the foundation of virtue. There is a wise man;—I tell him good words, And he yields to them the practice of docile virtue. There is a stupid man;—He says on the contrary that my words are not true:—So different are people’s minds.
Oh! my son, When you did not know what was good, and what was not good, Not only did I lead you by the hand, But I showed the difference between them by appealing to instances. Not (only) did I charge you face to face, But I held you by the ear4 . And still perhaps you do not know, Although you have held a son in your arms. If people be not self-sufficient, Who comes to a late maturity after early instruction?
Great Heaven is very intelligent, And I pass my life without pleasure. When I see you so dark and stupid, My heart is full of pain. I taught you with assiduous repetition, And you listened to me with contempt. You would not consider me as your teacher, But regarded me as troublesome. Still perhaps you do not know;—But you are very old.
Oh! my son, I have told you the old ways. Hear and follow my counsels:—Then shall you have no cause for great regret. Heaven is now inflicting calamities, And is destroying the state. My illustrations are not taken from things remote:—Great Heaven makes no mistakes. If you go on to deteriorate in your virtue, You will bring the people to great distress.
Ode 3, Stanzas 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7.
The Sang Zâu.
King Lî is not mentioned by name in the piece, but the second line of stanza 7 can only be explained of him. He was driven from the throne, in consequence of his misgovernment, in bc 842, and only saved his life by flying to Kih, a place in the present Ho Kâu, department Phing-yang, Shan-hsî, where he remained till his death in bc 828. The government in the meantime was carried on by the dukes of Shâo and Kâu, whose administration, called the period of ‘Mutual Harmony,’ forms an important chronological era in Chinese history. On the authority of a reference in the Ȝo Kwan, the piece is ascribed to an earl of Zui.
Luxuriant is that young mulberry tree, And beneath it wide is the shade; But they will pluck its leaves till it is quite destroyed1 . The distress inflicted on these (multitudes of the) people, Is an unceasing sorrow to my heart; My commiseration fills (my breast). O thou bright and great Heaven, Shouldest thou not have compassion on us?
The four steeds (gallop about), eager and strong1 ; The tortoise-and-serpent and the falcon banners fly about. Disorder grows, and no peace can be secured. Every state is being ruined; There are no black heads among the people2 . Everything is reduced to ashes by calamity. Oh! alas! The doom of the kingdom hurries on.
There is nothing to arrest the doom of the kingdom; Heaven does not nourish us. There is no place in which to stop securely; There is no place to which to go. Superior men are the bonds (of the social state)3 , Allowing no love of strife in their hearts. Who reared the steps of the dissatisfaction4 , Which has reached the present distress?
The grief of my heart is extreme, And I dwell on (the condition of) our land. I was born at an unhappy time, To meet with the severe anger of Heaven. From the west to the east, There is no quiet place of abiding. Many are the distresses I meet with; Very urgent is the trouble on our borders.
Heaven is sending down death and disorder, And has put an end to our king. It is (now) sending down those devourers of the grain, So that the husbandry is all in evil case. Alas for our middle states1 ! All is in peril and going to ruin. I have no strength (to do anything), And think of (the Power in) the azure vault.
The Yun Han.
King Hsüan does not occur by name in the ode, though the remarkable prayer which it relates is ascribed to a king in stanza 1. All critics have admitted the statement of the Preface that the piece was made, in admiration of king Hsuan, by Zăng Shû, a great officer, we may presume, of the court. The standard chronology places the commencement of the drought in bc 822, the sixth year of Hsüan’s reign. How long it continued we cannot tell.
Bright was the milky way, Shining and revolving in the sky. The king said, ‘Oh! What crime is chargeable on us now, That Heaven (thus) sends down death and disorder? Famine comes again and again. There is no spirit I have not sacrificed to2 ; There is no victim I have grudged; Our jade symbols, oblong and round, are exhausted1 ;—How is it that I am not heard?
‘The drought is excessive; Its fervours become more and more tormenting. I have not ceased offering pure sacrifices; From the border altars I have gone to the ancestral temple2 . To the (Powers) above and below I have presented my offerings and then buried them3 ;—There is no spirit whom I have not honoured. Hâu-kî is not equal to the occasion; God does not come to us. This wasting and ruin of our country,—Would that it fell (only) on me!
‘The drought is excessive, And I may not try to excuse myself. I am full of terror, and feel the peril, Like the clap of thunder or the roll. Of the remnant of Kâu, among the black-haired people, There will not be half a man left; Nor will God from his great heaven exempt (even) me. Shall we not mingle our fears together? (The sacrifices to) my ancestors will be extinguished1 .
‘The drought is excessive, And it cannot be stopped. More fierce and fiery, It is leaving me no place. My end is near;—I have none to look up, none to look round, to. The many dukes and their ministers of the past2 . Give me no help. O ye parents and (nearer) ancestors3 , How can ye bear to see me thus?
‘The drought is excessive;—Parched are the hills, and the streams are dried. The demon of drought exercises his oppression, As if scattering flames and fire4 . My heart is terrified with the heat;—My sorrowing heart is as if on fire. The many dukes and their ministers of the past. Do not hear me. O God, from thy great heaven, Grant me the liberty to withdraw (into retirement1 ).
‘The drought is excessive;—I struggle and fear to go away. How is it that I am afflicted with this drought? I cannot ascertain the cause of it. In praying for a good year I was abundantly early2 . I was not late (in sacrificing) to (the spirits of) the four quarters and of the land3 . God in great heaven. Does not consider me. Reverent to the intelligent spirits, I ought not to be thus the object of their anger.
‘The drought is excessive;—All is dispersion, and the bonds of government are relaxed. Reduced to extremities are the heads of departments; Full of distress are my chief ministers, The Master of the Horse, the Commander of the Guards, The chief Cook4 , and my attendants. There is no one who has not (tried to) help (the people); They have not refrained on the ground of being unable. I look up to the great heaven;—Why am I plunged in this sorrow?
‘I look up to the great heaven, But its stars sparkle bright. My great officers and excellent men, Ye have reverently drawn near (to Heaven) with all your powers. Death is approaching, But do not cast away what you have done. You are seeking not for me only, But to give rest to all our departments. I look up to the great heaven;—When shall I be favoured with repose?’
Ode 5, Stanzas 1, 2, and 4.
The Sung Kâo.
That the king who appears in this piece was king Hsüan is sufficiently established. He appears in it commissioning ‘his great uncle,’ an elder brother, that is, of his mother, to go and rule, as marquis of Shăn, and chief or president of the states in the south of the kingdom, to defend the borders against the encroaching hordes of the south, headed by the princes of Khû, whose lords had been rebellious against the middle states even in the time of the Shang dynasty;—see the last of the Sacrificial Odes of Shang.
Grandly lofty are the mountains, With their large masses reaching to the heavens. From those mountains was sent down a spirit, Who produced the birth of (the princes of) Fû and Shăn1 . Fû and Shăn Are the support of Kâu, Screens to all the states, Diffusing (their influence) over the four quarters of the kingdom.
Full of activity is the chief of Shăn, And the king would employ him to continue the services (of his fathers), With his capital in Hsieh1 , Where he should be a pattern to the states of the south. The king gave charge to the earl of Shâo, To arrange all about the residence of the chief of Shăn, Where he should do what was necessary for the regions of the south, And where his posterity might maintain his merit.
Of the services of the chief of Shăn. The foundation was laid by the earl of Shâo, Who first built the walls (of his city), And then completed his ancestral temple2 . When the temple was completed, wide and grand, The king conferred on the chief of Shâo. Four noble steeds, With the hooks for the trappings of the breast-bands, glittering bright3 .
Ode 6, Stanzas 1 and 7.
The KĂng Min.
Heaven, in giving birth to the multitudes of the people, To every faculty and relationship annexed its law. The people possess this normal nature, And they (consequently) love its normal virtue1 . Heaven beheld the ruler of Kâu, Brilliantly affecting it by his conduct below, And to maintain him, its Son, Gave birth to Kung Shan-fû2 .
Kung Shan-fû went forth, having sacrificed to the spirit of the road3 . His four steeds were strong; His men were alert, He was always anxious lest he should not be equal to his commission; His steeds went on without stopping, To the tinkling of their eight bells. The king had given charge to Kung Shan-fû, To fortify the city there in the east.
Ode 7, Stanzas 1 and part of 3.
The Han Yî.
Only one line—the first of stanza 3—in this interesting piece serves to illustrate the religious practices of the time, and needs no further note than what has been given on the first line of stanza 7 in the preceding ode. The name of the marquisate of Han remains in the district of Han-khăng, department of Hsî-an, Shen-hsî, in which also is mount Liang.
Very grand is the mountain of Liang, Which was made cultivable by Yü. Bright is the way from it, (Along which came) the marquis of Han to receive investiture. The king in person gave the charge:—‘Continue the services of your ancestors; Let not my charge to you come to nought. Be diligent early and late, And reverently discharge your duties:—So shall my appointment of you not change. Be a support against those princes who do not come to court, Thus assisting your sovereign.’
When the marquis of Han left the court, he sacrificed to the spirit of the road. He went forth, and lodged for the night in Tû.
Ode 8, Stanzas 4 and 5.
The Kiang Han.
Hû was probably the same earl of Shâo, who is mentioned in ode 5, as building his capital of Hsieh for the new marquis of Shăn. The lords of Shâo had been distinguished in the service of Kâu ever since the rise of the dynasty.
The king gave charge to Hû of Shâo:—‘You have everywhere made known (and carried out my orders). When (the kings) Wăn and Wû received their appointment, The duke of Shâo was their strong support. You not (only) have a regard to me the little child, But you try to resemble that duke of Shâo. You have commenced and earnestly displayed your merit; And I will make you happy.
‘I give you a large libation-cup of jade1 , And a jar of herb-flavoured spirits from the black millet2 . I have made announcement to the Accomplished one3 , And confer on you hills, lands, and fields. In (Khî-)kâu shall you receive investiture, According as your ancestor received his.’ Hû bowed with his head to the ground (and said), ‘May the Son of Heaven live for ever!’
Ode 10, Stanzas 1, 5, 6, and 7.
The Kan Zang.
The king addressed in this piece was most probably Yû. It suits his character and reign.
I look up to great Heaven, But it shows us no kindness. Very long have we been disquieted, And these great calamities are sent down (upon us). There is nothing settled in the country; Officers and people are in distress. Through the insects from without and from within, There is no peace or limit (to our misery). The net of crime is not taken up1 , And there is no peace nor cure (for our state).
Why is it that Heaven is (thus) reproving (you)? Why is it that Heaven is not blessing (you)? You neglect your great barbarian (foes), And regard me with hatred. You are regardless of the evil omens (that abound2 ), And your demeanour is all unseemly. (Good) men are going away, And the country is sure to go to ruin.
Heaven is letting down its net, And many (are the calamities in it). (Good) men are going away, And my heart is sorrowful. Heaven is letting down its net, And soon (all will be caught in it). (Good) men are going away, And my heart is sad.
Right from the spring comes the water bubbling, Revealing its depth. The sorrow of my heart,—Is it (only) of to-day? Why were these things not before me? Or why were they not after me? But mysteriously great Heaven. Is able to strengthen anything. Do not disgrace your great ancestors:—This will save your posterity1 .
Ode 11, Stanzas 1 and 2.
The Shâo Min.
Compassionate Heaven is arrayed in angry terrors. Heaven is indeed sending down ruin, Afflicting us with famine, So that the people are all wandering fugitives. In the settled regions, and on the borders, all is desolation.
Heaven sends down its net of crime;—Devouring insects, who weary and confuse men’s minds, Ignorant, oppressive, negligent, Breeders of confusion, utterly perverse:—These are the men employed.
LESSONS FROM THE STATES.
It has been stated in the Introduction, p. 276, that the first Part of the Shih, called the Kwo Făng, or ‘Lessons from the States,’ consists of 160 pieces, descriptive of manners and events in several of the feudal states into which the kingdom of Kâu was divided. Nearly all of them are short; and the passages illustrating the religious views and practices of their times are comparatively few. What passages there are, however, of this nature will all be found below. The pieces are not arranged in decades, as in the Odes of the Kingdom, but in Books, under the names of the states in which they were produced.
Although the Kwo Făng form, as usually published, the first Part of the Shih, nearly all of them are more recent in their origin than the pieces of the other Parts. They bring us face to face with the states of the kingdom, and the ways of their officers and people for several centuries of the dynasty of Kâu.
The Odes of Shâo and the South.
The Shû and previous portions of the Shih have made us familiar with Shâo, the name of the appanage of Shih, one of the principal ministers at the court of Kâu in the first two reigns of the dynasty. The site of the city of Shâo was in the present department of Făng-khiang, Shen-hsî. The first possessor of it, along with the still more famous duke of Kâu, remained at court, to watch over the fortunes of the new dynasty. They were known as ‘the highest dukes’ and ‘the two great chiefs,’ the duke of Kâu having charge of the eastern portions of the kingdom, and the other of the western. The pieces in this Book are supposed to have been produced in Shâo, and the principalities south of it within his jurisdiction, by the duke.
The Zhâi Fan.
We must suppose the ladies of a harem, in one of the states of the south, admiring and praising in these simple stanzas the way in which their mistress discharged her duties. A view of the ode maintained by many is that the lady gathered the southernwood, not to use it in sacrificing, but in the nurture of the silkworms under her care; but the evidence of the characters in the text is, on the whole, in favour of the more common view. Constant reference is made to the piece by Chinese moralists, to show that the most trivial things are accepted in sacrifice, when there are reverence and sincerity in the presenting of them.
One critic asked Kû Hsî whether it was conceivable that the wife of a prince did herself what is here related, and he replied that the poet said so. Another has observed that if the lady ordered and employed others, it was still her own doing. But that the lady did it herself is not incredible, when we consider the simplicity of those early times, in the twelfth century bc
She gathers the white southernwood, By the ponds, on the islets. She employs it, In the business of our prince.
She gathers the white southernwood, Along the streams in the valleys. She employs it, In the temple1 of our prince.
With head-dress reverently rising aloft, Early, while yet it is night, she is in the prince’s (temple). In her head-dress, slowly retiring, She returns (to her own apartments).
The Zhâi Pin.
She gathers the large duckweed, By the banks of the stream in the southern valley. She gathers the pondweed, In those pools left by the floods.
She deposits what she gathers, In her square baskets and round ones. She boils it, In her tripods and pans.
She sets forth her preparations, Under the window in the ancestral chamber1 . Who superintends the business? It is (this) reverent young lady.
The Odes of Phei.
When king Wû overthrew the dynasty of Shang, the domain of its kings was divided into three portions, the northern portion being called Phei, the southern Yung, and the eastern Wei, the rulers of which last in course of time absorbed the other two. It is impossible to say why the old names were retained in the arrangement of the odes in this Part of the Shih, for it is acknowledged on all hands that the pieces in Books iii and iv, as well as those of Book v, are all odes of Wei.
The ZĂh Yüeh.
All the Chinese critics give this interpretation of the piece. Kwang Kiang was a daughter of the house of Khî, about the middle of the eighth century bc, and was married to the marquis Yang, known in history as ‘duke Kwang,’ of Wei. She was a lady of admirable character, and beautiful; but her husband proved faithless and unkind. In this ode she makes her subdued moan, appealing to the sun and moon, as if they could take cognizance of the way in which she was treated. Possibly, however, the addressing those bodies may simply be an instance of prosopopoeia.
O sun, O moon, Which enlighten this lower earth! Here is this man, Who treats me not according to the ancient rule. How can he get his mind settled? Would he then not regard me?
O sun, O moon, Which overshadow this lower earth! Here is this man, Who will not be friendly with me. How can he get his mind settled? Would he then not respond to me?
O sun, O moon, Which come forth from the east! Here is this man, With virtuous words, but really not good. How can he get his mind settled? Would he then allow me to be forgotten?
O sun, O moon, From the east that come forth! O father, O mother, There is no sequel to your nourishing of me. How can he get his mind settled? Would he then respond to me contrary to all reason?
Ode 15, Stanza 1.
The Pei MĂn.
I go out at the north gate, With my heart full of sorrow. Straitened am I and poor, And no one takes knowledge of my distress. So it is! Heaven has done it1 ;—What then shall I say?
The Odes of Yung.
See the preliminary note on p. 433.
The Pai Kâu.
This piece, it is said, was made by Kung Kiang, the widow of Kung-po, son of the marquis Hsî of Wei (bc 855-814). Kung-po having died an early death, her parents (who must have been the marquis of Khî and his wife or one of the ladies of his harem) wanted to force her to a second marriage, against which she protests. The ode was preserved, no doubt, as an example of what the Chinese have always considered a great virtue,—the refusal of a widow to marry again.
It floats about, that boat of cypress wood, There in the middle of the Ho1 . With his two tufts of hair falling over his forehead2 , He was my mate; And I swear that till death I will have no other. O mother, O Heaven3 , Why will you not understand me?
It floats about, that boat of cypress wood, There by the side of the Ho. With his two tufts of hair falling over his forehead, He was my only one; And I swear that till death I will not do the evil thing. O mother, O Heaven, Why will you not understand me?
Ode 3, Stanza 2.
The Kün-Ȝze Kieh Lâo.
Hsüan Kiang was a princess of Khî, who, towards the close of the seventh century bc, became wife to the marquis of Wei, known as duke Hsüan. She was beautiful and unfortunate, but various things are related of her indicative of the grossest immoralities prevailing in the court of Wei.
How rich and splendid. Is her pheasant-figured robe1 ! Her black hair in masses like clouds, No false locks does she descend to. There are her earplugs of jade, Her comb-pin of ivory, And her high forehead, so white. She appears like a visitant from heaven! She appears like a goddess2 .
Ode 6, Stanzas 1 and 2.
The Ting kih fang Kung.
The state of Wei was reduced to extremity by an irruption of some northern hordes in bc 660, and had nearly disappeared from among the states of Kâu. Under the marquis Wei, known in history as duke Wăn, its fortunes revived, and he became a sort of second founder of the state.
When Ting culminated (at night-fall)3 , He began to build the palace at Khû4 , Determining its aspects by means of the sun. He built the palace at Khû. He planted about it hazel and chesnut trees, The Î, the Thung, the Ȝze, and the varnish tree. Which, when cut down, might afford materials for lutes.
He ascended those old walls, And thence surveyed (the site of) Khû. He surveyed Khû and Thang1 , With the lofty hills and high elevations about. He descended and examined the mulberry trees. He then divined by the tortoise-shell, and got a favourable response2 ; And thus the issue has been truly good.
The Odes of Wei.
It has been said on the title of Book iii, that Wei at first was the eastern portion of the old domain of the kings of Shang. With this a brother of king Wû, called Khang-shû, was invested. The principality was afterwards increased by the absorption of Phei and Yung. It came to embrace portions of the present provinces of Kih-lî, Shan-tung, and Ho-nan. It outlasted the dynasty of Kâu itself, the last prince of Wei being reduced to the ranks of the people only during the dynasty of Khin.
Ode 4, Stanzas 1 and 2.
An extract is given from the pathetic history here related, because it shows how divination was used among the common people, and entered generally into the ordinary affairs of life.
A simple-looking lad you were, Carrying cloth to exchange it for silk. (But) you came not so to purchase silk;—You came to make proposals to me. I convoyed you through the Khî1 , As far as Tun-khiû2 , ‘It is not I,’ (I said), ‘who would protract the time; But you have had no good go-between. I pray you be not angry, And let autumn be the time.’
I ascended that ruinous wall, To look towards Fû-kwan3 ; And when I saw (you) not (coming from) it, My tears flowed in streams. When I did see (you coming from) Fû-kwan, I laughed and I spoke. You had consulted, (you said), the tortoise-shell and the divining stalks, And there was nothing unfavourable in their response4 . ‘Then come,’ (I said), ‘with your carriage, And I will remove with my goods.’
The Odes of the Royal Domain.
King Wăn, it has been seen, had for his capital the city of Făng, from which his son, king Wû, moved the seat of government to Hâo. In the time of king Khăng, a city was built by the duke of Kâu, near the present Lo-yang, and called ‘the eastern capital.’ Meetings of the princes of the states assembled there; but the court continued to be held at Hâo till the accession of king Phing in bc 770. From that time, the kings of Kâu sank nearly to the level of the princes of the states, and the poems collected in their domain were classed among the ‘Lessons of Manners from the States,’ though still distinguished by the epithet ‘royal’ prefixed to them.
Ode 1, Stanza 1.
The Shû Lî.
There is no specific mention of the old capital of Kâu in the piece, but the schools of Mâo and Kû are agreed in this interpretation, which is much more likely than any of the others that have been proposed.
There was the millet with its drooping heads; There was the sacrificial millet coming into blade1 . Slowly I moved about, In my heart all-agitated. Those who knew me Said I was sad at heart. Those who did not know me, Said I was seeking for something. O thou distant and azure Heaven2 ! By what man was this (brought about)3 ?
Ode 9, Stanzas 1 and 3.
The Tâ Kü.
His great carriage rolls along, And his robes of rank glitter like the young sedge. Do I not think of you? But I am afraid of this officer, and dare not (fly to you).
While living we may have to occupy different apartments; But, when dead, we shall share the same grave. If you say that I am not sincere, By the bright sun I swear that I am1 .
The Odes of Thang.
The odes of Thang were really the odes of Ȝin, the greatest of the fiefs of Kâu until the rise of Khin. King Khăng, in bc 1107, invested his younger brother, called Shû-yü, with the territory where Yâo was supposed to have ruled anciently as the marquis of Thang, in the present department of Thâi-yüan, Shan-hsî, the fief retaining that ancient name. Subsequently the name of the state was changed to Ȝin, from the river Ȝin in the southern part of it.
Ode 8, Stanza 1.
The Pâo Yü.
Sû-sû go the feathers of the wild geese, As they settle on the bushy oaks1 . The king’s affairs must not be slackly discharged, And (so) we cannot plant our millets;—What will our parents have to rely on? O thou distant and azure Heaven2 ! When shall we be in our places again?
The Ko ShĂng.
It is supposed that the husband whose death is bewailed in this piece had died in one of the military expeditions of which duke Hsien (bc 676-651) was fond. It may have been so, but there is nothing in the piece to make us think of duke Hsien. I give it a place in the volume, not because of the religious sentiment in it, but because of the absence of that sentiment, where we might expect it. The lady shows the grand virtue of a Chinese widow, in that she will never marry again. And her grief would not be assuaged. The days would all seem long summer days, and the nights all long winter nights; so that a hundred long years would seem to drag their slow course. But there is not any hope expressed of a re-union with her husband in another state. The ‘abode’ and the ‘chamber’ of which she speaks are to be understood of his grave; and her thoughts do not appear to go beyond it.
The dolichos grows, covering the thorn trees; The convolvulus spreads all over the waste3 . The man of my admiration is no more here;—With whom can I dwell? I abide alone.
The dolichos grows, covering the jujube trees; The convolvulus spreads all over the tombs. The man of my admiration is no more here;—With whom can I dwell? I rest alone.
How beautiful was the pillow of horn! How splendid was the embroidered coverlet1 ! The man of my admiration is no more here;—With whom can I dwell? Alone (I wait for) the morning.
Through the (long) days of summer, Through the (long) nights of winter (shall I be alone), Till the lapse of a hundred years, When I shall go home to his abode.
Through the (long) nights of winter, Through the (long) days of summer (shall I be alone), Till the lapse of a hundred years, When I shall go home to his chamber.
The Odes of Khin.
The state of Khin took its name from its earliest principal city, in the present district of Khing-shui, in Khin Kâu, Kan-sû. Its chiefs claimed to be descended from Yî, who appears in the Shû as the forester of Shun, and the assistant of the great Yü in his labours on the flood of Yâo. The history of his descendants is very imperfectly related till we come to a Fei-ȝze, who had charge of the herds of horses belonging to king Hsiâo (bc 909895), and in consequence of his good services was invested with the small territory of Khin, as an attached state. A descendant of his, known as duke Hsiang, in consequence of his loyal services, when the capital was moved to the east in bc 770, was raised to the dignity of an earl, and took his place among the great feudal princes of the kingdom, receiving also a large portion of territory, which included the ancient capital of the House of Kâu. In course of time Khin, as is well known, superseded the dynasty of Kâu, having gradually moved its capital more and more to the east. The people of Khin were, no doubt, mainly composed of the wild tribes of the west.
Ode 6, Stanza 1.
The Hwang Niâo.
There is no difficulty or difference in the interpretation of this piece; and it brings us down to bc 621. Then died duke Mû, after playing an important part in the north-west of China for thirty-nine years. The Ȝo Kwan, under the sixth year of duke Wăn, makes mention of Mû’s requiring that the three brothers here celebrated should be buried with him, and of the composition of this piece in consequence. Sze-mâ Khien says that this barbarous practice began with Mû’s predecessor, with whom sixty-six persons were buried alive, and that one hundred and seventy-seven in all were buried with Mû. The death of the last distinguished man of the House of Khin, the emperor I, was subsequently celebrated by the entombment with him of all the inmates of his harem.
They flit about, the yellow birds, And rest upon the jujube trees1 . Who followed duke Mû in the grave? Ȝze-kü Yen-hsî. And this Yen-hsî. Was a man above a hundred. When he came to the grave, He looked terrified and trembled. Thou azure Heaven there! Could he have been redeemed, We would have given a hundred (ordinary) men for him1 .
The Odes of Pin.
Duke Liû, an ancestor of the Kâu family, made a settlement, according to its traditions, in bc 1797, in Pin, the site of which is pointed out, 90 lî to the west of the present district city of San-shui, in Pin Kâu, Shen-hsî, where the tribe remained till the movement eastwards of Than-fû, celebrated in the first decade of the Major Odes of the Kingdom, ode 3. The duke of Kâu, during the minority of king Khăng, made, it is supposed, the first of the pieces in this Book, describing for the instruction of the young monarch, the ancient ways of their fathers in Pin; and subsequently some one compiled other odes made by the duke, and others also about him, and brought them together under the common name of ‘the Odes of Pin.’
Ode 1, Stanza 8.
The Khî Yüeh.
If the piece was made, as the Chinese critics all suppose, by the duke of Kâu, we must still suppose that he writes in the person of an old farmer or yeoman of Pin. The picture which it gives of the manners of the Chinese people, their thrifty, provident ways, their agriculture and weaving, nearly 3,700 years ago, is full of interest; but it is not till we come to the concluding stanza that we find anything bearing on their religious practices.
In the days of (our) second month, they hew out the ice with harmonious blows1 ; And in those of (our) third month, they convey it to the ice-houses, (Which they open) in those of (our) fourth, early in the morning. A lamb having been offered in sacrifice with scallions2 . In the ninth month, it is cold, with frost. In the tenth month, they sweep clean their stack-sites. (Taking) the two bottles of spirits to be offered to their ruler, And having killed their lambs and sheep, They go to his hall, And raising the cup of rhinoceros horn, Wish him long life,—that he may live for ever1 .
THE HSIÂO KING OR CLASSIC OF FILIAL PIETY.
[1 ] It is said in the tenth ode of the first decade of the Major Odes of the Kingdom, that king Wû in his capital of Hâo built ‘his hall with its circlet of water.’ That was the royal college built in the middle of a circle of water; each state had its grand college with a semicircular pool in front of it, such as may now be seen in front of the temples of Confucius in the metropolitan cities of the provinces. It is not easy to describe all the purposes which the building served. In this piece the marquis of Lû appears feasting in it, delivering instructions, taking counsel with his ministers, and receiving the spoils and prisoners of war. The Lî Kî, VIII, ii, 7, refers to sacrifices to Hâu-kî in connexion with the college of Lû. There the officers of the state in autumn learned ceremonies; in winter, literary studies; in spring and summer, the use of arms; and in autumn and winter, dancing. There were celebrated trials of archery; there the aged were feasted; there the princes held council with their ministers. The college was in the western suburb of each capital.
[1 ] The meaning is that the fine qualities of the marquis ‘reached to’ and affected his ancestors in their spirit-state, and would draw down their protecting favour. Their blessing, seen in his prosperity, was the natural result of his filial piety.
[2 ] The Hwâi rises in the department of Nan-yang, Ho-nan, and flows eastward to the sea. South of it, down to the time of this ode, were many rude and wild tribes that gave frequent occupation to the kings of Kâu.
[3 ] When prisoners refused to submit, their left ears were cut off, and shown as trophies.
[4 ] The ancient Shun’s Minister of Crime. The ‘examiners’ were officers who questioned the prisoners, especially the more important of them, to elicit information, and decide as to the amount of their guilt and punishment.
[1 ] The ‘judges’ decided all questions of dispute in the army, and on the merits of different men who had distinguished themselves.
[2 ] In this stanza the poet describes a battle with the wild tribes, as if it were going on before his eyes.
[3 ] An owl is a bird with a disagreeable scream, instead of a beautiful note; but the mulberries grown about the college would make them sing delightfully. And so would the influence of Lû, going forth from the college, transform the nature of the tribes about the Hwâi.
[4 ] That is, according to ‘the Tribute of Yü,’ in the Shû, from King-kâu and Yang-kâu.
[1 ] About Kiang Yüan and her conception and birth of Hâu-kî, see the first piece in the third decade of the Major Odes of the Kingdom. There also Hâu-kî’s teaching of husbandry is more fully described.
[1 ] See on the Sacrificial Odes of Kâu, decade i, ode 5.
[2 ] See the Shû, V, iii.
[3 ] Shang-fû, one of Wû’s principal leaders, encouraged him at the battle of Mû with these words.
[4 ] That is, the duke of Kâu.
[5 ] That is, small territories, held by chiefs of other surnames, but acknowledging the jurisdiction of the lords of Lû, and dependent on them for introduction to the royal court.
[1 ] These lines refer to the seasonal sacrifices in the temple of ancestors, two seasons being mentioned for all the four, as in some of the odes of Shang.
[2 ] From the seasonal sacrifices the poet passes to the sacrifice to God at the border altar in the spring,—no doubt the same which is referred to in the last ode of the first decade of the Sacrificial Odes of Kâu.
[3 ] The subject of the seasonal sacrifices is resumed.
[4 ] A piece of wood was fixed across the horns of the victim-bulls, to prevent their injuring them by pushing or rubbing against any hard substance. An animal injured in any way was not fit to be used in sacrifice.
[5 ] In sacrificing to the duke of Kâu, a white bull was used by way of distinction. His great services to the dynasty had obtained for him the privilege of being sacrificed to with royal ceremonies. A white bull, such as had been offered to the kings of Shang, was therefore devoted to him; while for Po-khin, and the other marquises (or dukes as spoken of by their own subjects), a victim of the orthodox Kâu colour was employed.
[6 ] This goblet, fashioned in the shape of a bull, or with a bull pictured on it, must have been well known in connexion with these services.
[7 ] ‘The large stand’ was of a size to support half the roasted body of a victim.
[1 ] Referring, probably, to the three principal ministers of the state.
[2 ] These lines describe Hsî’s resources for war. A thousand chariots was the regular force which a great state could at the utmost bring into the field. Each chariot contained three mailed men;—the charioteer in the middle, a spearman on the right, and an archer on the left. Two spears rose aloft with vermilion tassels, and there were two bows, bound with green bands to frames in their cases. Attached to every chariot were seventy-two foot-soldiers and twenty-five followers, making with the three men in it, 100 in all; so that the whole force would amount to 100,000 men. But in actual service the force of a great state was restricted to three ‘armies’ or 375 chariots, attended by 37,500 men, of whom 27,500 were foot-soldiers, put down here in round numbers as 30,000.
[3 ]King is the King-khû of the last of the Sacrificial Odes of Shang, and the name Shû was applied to several half-civilized states to the east of it, which it brought, during the Khun Khiû period, one after another under its jurisdiction.
[1 ] Mount Thâi is well known, the eastern of the four great mountains of China in the time of Shun. It is in the department of Thâi-an, Shan-tung.
[2 ] These were two smaller hills in Lû.
[3 ] These were two hills of Lû, in the present district of Ȝâu.
[4 ] Hsü was the name of one of Yü’s nine provinces, embracing portions of the present Shan-tung, Kiang-sû, and An-hui.
[5 ] Mo was properly the name of certain wild tribes in the north, as Man was that of the tribes of the south. But we cannot suppose any tribes to be meant here but such as lay south of Lû.
[1 ]Kang was a city with some adjacent territory, in the present district of Thăng, that had been taken from Lû by Khî. Hsü, called in the Spring and Autumn ‘the fields of Hsü,’ was west from Lû, and had been granted to it as a convenient place for its princes to stop at on their way to the royal court; but it had been sold or parted with to Kăng in the first year of duke Hwan (bc 711). The poet desires that Hsî should recover these and all other territory which had at any time belonged to Lû.
[2 ] He would feast with the ladies in the inner apartment of the palace, suitable for such a purpose; with his ministers in the outer banqueting-room.
[3 ] These were two hills, in the present department of Thâi-an.
[1 ] This line and the following show the power and value of the cultivation of friendship in affecting spiritual beings. That designation is understood in the widest sense.
[1 ] These dukes and former kings are all the ancestors of the royal House of Kâu, sacrificed to at the four seasons of the year.
[2 ] Here we have the response of the dukes and kings communicated to the sacrificing king by the individuals chosen to represent them at the service.
[3 ] The spirits here are, of course, those of the former dukes and kings.
[1 ] In the Official Book of Kâu, ch. 24, mention is made of the Diviner of Dreams and his duties:—He had to consider the season of the year when a dream occurred, the day of the cycle, and the then predominant influence of the two powers of nature. By the positions of the sun, moon, and planets in the zodiacal spaces he could determine whether any one of the six classes of dreams was lucky or unlucky. Those six classes were ordinary and regular dreams, terrible dreams, dreams of thought, dreams in waking, dreams of joy, and dreams of fear.
[2 ] The boy would have a sceptre, a symbol of dignity, to play with; the girl, a tile, the symbol of woman’s work, as, sitting with a tile on her knee, she twists the threads of hemp.
[3 ] That is, the red apron of a king and of the prince of a state.
[4 ] The woman has only to be obedient. That is her whole duty. The line does not mean, as it has been said, that ‘she is incapable of good or evil;’ but it is not her part to take the initiative even in what is good.
[1 ] The tortoise-and-serpent banner marked the presence in a host of its leader on a military expedition. On its field were the figures of tortoises, with snakes coiled round them. The falcon banners belonged to the commanders of the divisions of the host. They bore the figures of falcons on them.
[2 ] ‘The southern hill’ was also called the Kung-nan, and rose right to the south of the western capital of Kâu.
[1 ] In this stanza, as in the next and the last but one, the writer complains of Heaven, and charges it foolishly. He does so by way of appeal, however, and indicates the true causes of the misery of the kingdom,—the reckless conduct, namely, of the king and his minister.
[2 ] The parties spoken of here are the followers of the minister, ‘mean men,’ however high in place and great in power, now friendly, now hostile to one another.
[1 ] By introducing the word ‘only,’ I have followed the view of the older interpreters, who consider the forest, with merely some faggots and twigs left in it, to be emblematic of the ravages of oppressive government in the court and kingdom. Kû Hsî takes a different view of them:—‘In a forest you can easily distinguish the large faggots from the small branches, while Heaven appears unable to distinguish between the good and bad.’
[2 ] The calumnies that were abroad were as absurd as the assertion in line 1, and yet the king could not, or would not, see through them and repress them.
[3 ] This reference to the diviners of dreams is in derision of their pretensions.
[4 ] That is, the productive energy of nature manifests itself in the most unlikely places; how was it that ‘the great God, who hates no one,’ was contending so with the writer?
[1 ] We do not know anything from history of the ministers of Yû mentioned in this stanza. Hwang-fû appears to have been the leading minister of the government at the time when the ode was written, and, as appears from the next two stanzas, was very crafty, oppressive, and selfishly ambitious. The mention of ‘the chief Cook’ among the high ministers appears strange; but we shall find that functionary mentioned in another ode; and from history it appears that ‘the Cook,’ at the royal and feudal courts, sometimes played an important part during the times of Kâu. ‘The beautiful wife,’ no doubt, was the well-known Sze of Pâo, raised by king Yû from her position as one of his concubines to be his queen, and whose insane folly and ambition led to her husband’s death, and great and disastrous changes in the kingdom.
[2 ] Hsiang was a district of the royal domain, in the present district of Măng, department of Hwâi-khing, Ho-nan. It had been assigned to Hwang-fû, and he was establishing himself there, without any loyal regard to the king. As a noble in the royal domain, he was entitled only to two ministers, but he had appointed three as in one of the feudal states, encouraging, moreover, the resort to himself of the wealthy and powerful, while the court was left weak and unprotected.
[1 ] ‘What Heaven confers’ is, probably, the good human nature, which by vice, and especially by drunkenness, may be irretrievably ruined.
[2 ] A religious act is here referred to, on which we have not sufficient information to be able to throw much light. It was the practice to spread some finely ground rice on the ground, in connexion with divination, as an offering to the spirits. The poet represents himself here as using a handful of grain for the purpose,—probably on account of his poverty.
[1 ] The sight of the crows, all together, suggests to the prince his own condition, solitary and driven from court.
[2 ] The mulberry tree and the rottlera were both planted about the farmsteadings, and are therefore mentioned here. They carried the thoughts back to the father or grandfather, or the more remote ancestor, who first planted them, and so a feeling of reverence attached to themselves.
[1 ] ‘The north,’ i.e. the region where there are the rigours of winter and the barrenness of the desert.
[2 ] ‘Great Heaven;’ ‘Heaven’ has to be supplied here, but there is no doubt as to the propriety of doing so; and, moreover, the peculiar phraseology of the line shows that the poet did not rest in the thought of the material heavens.
[1 ] That is, ‘slight-looking,’ unfit for toil; and yet they are obliged to make their journey on foot.
[1 ] This stanza describes, directly or by symbol, the exactions from which the people of the east were suffering.
[2 ] ‘The Milky Way’ is here called simply the Han,=in the sky what the Han river is in China.
[3 ] ‘The Weaving Sisters, or Ladies,’ are three stars in Lyra, that form a triangle. To explain what is said of their passing through seven spaces, it is said: ‘The stars seem to go round the circumference of the heavens, divided into twelve spaces, in a day and night. They would accomplish six of them in a day; but as their motion is rather in advance of that of the sun, they have entered into the seventh space by the time it is up with them again.’
[4 ] ‘The Draught Oxen’ is the name of some stars in the neck of Aquila.
[5 ] Liû Î (Sung dynasty) says: ‘The metal star (Venus) is in the east in the morning, thus “opening the brightness of the day;” and it is in the west in the evening, thus “prolonging the day.” ’ The author of the piece, however, evidently took Lucifer and Hesperus to be two stars.
[1 ] ‘The Rabbit Net’ is the Hyades.
[2 ] ‘The Sieve’ is the name of one of the twenty-eight constellations of the zodiac,—part of Sagittarius.
[3 ] ‘The Ladle’ is the constellation next to ‘the Sieve,’—also part of Sagittarius.
[1 ] The poet hurries on to describe the sacrifices in progress. The persons selected to personate the departed were necessarily inferior in rank to the principal sacrificer, yet for the time they were superior to him. This circumstance, it was supposed, would make them feel uncomfortable; and therefore, as soon as they appeared in the temple, the director of the ceremonies instructed the sacrificer to ask them to be seated, and to place them at ease; after which they were urged to take some refreshment.
[1 ] The Kû, who is mentioned here, was evidently an officer, ‘one who makes or recites prayers.’ The sacrifice he is said to offer was, probably, a libation, the pouring out fragrant spirits, as a part of the general service, and likely to attract the hovering spirits of the departed, on their approach to the temple. Hence his act was performed just inside the gate.
[2 ] ‘Wives presiding,’ i. e. the wife of the sacrificer, the principal in the service, and other ladies of the harem. The dishes under their care, the smaller dishes, would be those containing sauces, cakes, condiments, &c.
[3 ] ‘The guests and visitors’ would be nobles and officers of different surnames from the sacrificer, chosen by divination to take part in the sacrificial service.
[4 ] ‘Present the cup all round’ describes the ceremonies of drinking, which took place between the guests and visitors, the representatives of the dead, and the sacrificer.
[1 ] The officer of prayer had in the first place obtained, or professed to have obtained, this answer of the progenitors from their personators.
[2 ] The music now announced that the sacrificial service in the temple was ended.
[3 ] The sacrificer, or principal in the service, now left the place which he had occupied, descended from the hall, and took his position at the foot of the steps on the east,—the place appropriate to him in dismissing his guests.
[4 ] Where did they return to? According to Kâng Hsüan, ‘To heaven.’
[1 ] These uncles and cousins were all present at the sacrifice, and of the same surname as the principal. The feast to them was to show his peculiar affection for his relatives.
[2 ] The feast was given in the apartment of the temple behind the hall where the sacrifice had been performed, so that the musicians are represented as going in to continue at the feast the music they had discoursed at the sacrifice.
[3 ] The transition to the second person here is a difficulty. We can hardly make the speech, made by some one of the guests on behalf of all the others, commence here. We must come to the conclusion that the ode was written, in compliment to the sacrificer, by one of the relatives who shared in the feast; and so here he addresses him directly.
[1 ] There is here a recognition of the work of the great Yü, as the real founder of the kingdom of China, extending the territory of former elective chiefs, and opening up the country. ‘The southern hill’ bounded the prospect to the south from the capital of Kâu, and hence the writer makes mention of it. He does not mean to confine the work of Yü to that part of the country; but, on the other hand, there is nothing in his language to afford a confirmation to the account given in the third Part of the Shû of that hero’s achievements.
[2 ] In every King, or space of 900 Chinese acres or mâu, assigned to eight families, there were in the centre 100 mâu of ‘public fields,’ belonging to the government, and cultivated by the husbandmen in common. In this space of 100 mâu, two mâu and a half were again assigned to each family, and on them were erected the huts in which they lived, while they were actively engaged in their agricultural labours.
[1 ] Here, as in so many other places, the sovereign Power, ruling in the lots of men, is referred to as Heaven.
[2 ] The fat was taken from the victim, and then burnt along with fragrant herbs, so as to form a cloud of incense. On the taking of the ‘blood,’ it is only said, that it was done to enable the sacrificer to announce that a proper victim had been slain.
[3 ] This line, literally, is, ‘Yearly are taken ten (and a) thousand;’ meaning the produce of ten acres in every hundred, and of a thousand in every ten thousand.
[1 ] The general rule was that the sons of husbandmen should continue husbandmen; but their superior might select those among them in whom he saw promising abilities, and facilitate their advancement to the higher grade of officers.
[2 ] The sacrifices here mentioned were of thanksgiving at the end of the harvest of the preceding year. The one was to ‘sovereign Earth,’ supposed to be the supreme Power in correlation with Heaven, or, possibly, to the spirits supposed to preside over the productive energies of the land; the other to the spirits presiding over the four quarters of the sky, and ruling all atmospherical influences.
[3 ] This was the sacrifice that had been, or was about to be, offered in spring to ‘the Father of Husbandry,’—probably the ancient mythical Tî, Shăn Năng.
[1 ] The ancient Shăn Năng, as in the preceding ode.
[1 ] These are two famous lines, continually quoted as showing the loyal attachment of the people to their superiors in those ancient times.
[2 ] Compare the legislation of Moses, in connexion with the harvest, for the benefit of the poor, in Deuteronomy xxiv. 19-22.
[3 ] They would not sacrifice to these spirits all at once, or all in one place, but in the several quarters as they went along on their progress through the domain. For each quarter the colour of the victim was different. A red victim was offered to the spirit of the south, and a black to that of the north.
[4 ] The greenbeaks appeared in the second ode of the fifth decade. The bird had many names, and a beautiful plumage, made use of here to compliment the princes on the elegance of their manners, and perhaps also the splendour of their equipages. The bird is here called the ‘mulberry Hû,’ because it appeared when the mulberry tree was coming into leaf.
[1 ] This line is to be understood, with Kû Hsî, as a prayer of the king to Heaven for his lords.
[2 ] The mats were spread on the floor, and also the viands of the feast. Chairs and tables were not used in that early time.
[3 ] The archery took place in the open court, beneath the hall or raised apartment, where the entertainment was given. Near the steps leading up to the hall was the regular place for the bells and drums, but it was necessary now to remove them more on one side, to leave the ground clear for the archers.
[4 ] The host first presented a cup to the guest, which the latter drank, and then he returned a cup to the host. After this preliminary ceremony, the company all drank to one another,—‘took up their cups,’ as it is here expressed.
[1 ] Each defeated archer was obliged to drink a large cup of spirits as a penalty.
[2 ] This guest was, it is supposed, the eldest of all the scions of the royal House present on the occasion. At this point, he presented a cup to the chief among the personators of the ancestors, and received one in return. He then proceeded to draw more spirits from one of the vases of supply, and an attendant came in and filled other cups,—we may suppose for all the other personators. This was called ‘the cup of repose or comfort;’ and the sacrifice was thus concluded,—in all sobriety and decency.
[3 ] The three stanzas that follow this, graphically descriptive of the drunken revel, are said to belong to the feast of the royal relatives that followed the conclusion of the sacrificial service, and is called ‘the second blessing’ in the sixth ode of the preceding decade. This opinion probably is correct; but as the piece does not itself say so, and because of the absence from the text of religious sentiments, I have not given the stanzas here.
[1 ] The stalks of the rush were tied with the grass in bundles, in order to be steeped;—an operation which ladies in those days might be supposed to be familiar with. The two lines suggest the idea of the close connexion between the two plants, and the necessariness of the one to the other;—as it should be between husband and wife.
[2 ] The clouds bestowed their dewy influence on the plants, while her husband neglected the speaker.
[3 ] ‘The way of Heaven’ is equivalent to our ‘The course of Providence.’ The lady’s words are, literally, ‘The steps of Heaven.’ She makes but a feeble wail; but in Chinese opinion discharges thereby, all the better, the duty of a wife.
[1 ] The family of Kâu, according to its traditions, was very ancient, but it did not occupy the territory of Kâu, from which it subsequently took its name, till bc 1326; and it was not till the time of Wăn (bc 1231 to 1135) that the divine purpose concerning its supremacy in the kingdom was fully manifested.
[1 ] According to Kû Hsî, the first and last two lines of this stanza are to be taken of the spirit of Wăn in heaven. Attempts have been made to explain them otherwise, or rather to explain them away. But language could not more expressly intimate the existence of a supreme personal God, and the continued existence of the human spirit.
[2 ] The text, literally, is, ‘The root and the branches:’ the root (and stem) denoting the eldest sons, by the recognised queen, succeeding to the throne; and the branches, the other sons by the queen and concubines. The former would grow up directly from the root; and the latter, the chief nobles of the kingdom, would constitute the branches of the great Kâu tree.
[3 ] The Shang or Yin dynasty of kings superseded by Kâu.
[1 ] These officers of Yin would be the descendants of the Yin kings and of their principal nobles, scions likewise of the Yin stock. They would assist, at the court of Kâu, at the services in the ancestral temple, which began with a libation of fragrant spirits to bring down the spirits of the departed.
[2 ] These, differing from the dress worn by the representatives of the ruling House, were still worn by the officers of Yin or Shang, by way of honour, and also by way of warning.
[3 ] There was God in heaven hating none, desiring the good of all the people; there were the sovereigns on earth, God’s vicegerents, maintained by him so long as they carried out in their government his purpose of good.
[1 ] These two lines are quoted in the last paragraph of the Doctrine of the Mean, as representing the ideal of perfect virtue. They are indicative of Power, operating silently, and not to be perceived by the senses, but resistless in its operations.
[2 ] ‘The first two lines,’ says the commentator Yen Ȝhan, ‘contain a general sentiment, expressing the principle that governs the relation between Heaven and men. According to line 1, the good or evil of a ruler cannot be concealed; according to 2, Heaven, in giving its favour or taking it away, acts with strict decision. When below there is the illustrious illustration (of virtue), that reaches up on high. When above there is the awful majesty, that exercises a survey below. The relation between Heaven and men ought to excite our awe.’
[3 ] The state of Kih must have been somewhere in the royal domain of Yin. Its lords had the surname of Zăn, and the second daughter of the House became the wife of Kî of Kâu. She is called in the eighth line Thâi-zăn, by which name she is still famous in China. ‘She commenced,’ it is said, ‘the instruction of her child when he was still in her womb, looking on no improper sight, listening to no licentious sound, uttering no word of pride.’
[1 ] Heaven is here represented as arranging for the fulfilment of its purposes beforehand.
[2 ] The name of the state was Hsin, and it must have been near the Hsiâ and the Wei, somewhere in the south-east of the present Shen-hsî.
[3 ] ‘The ceremonies’ would be various; first of all, divination by means of the tortoise-shell.
[1 ] See the account of the battle of Mû in the third Book of the fifth Part of the Shû. Shang-fû was one of Wû’s principal leaders and counsellors, his ‘Grand-Master Shang-fû’ in the next stanza.
[2 ] As a gourd grows and extends, with a vast development of its tendrils and leaves, so had the House of Kâu increased.
[3 ] These were two rivers in the territory of Pin, which name still remains in the small department of Pin Kâu, in Shen-hsî. The Khü flows into the Lo, and the Khî into the Wei.
[1 ] According to this ode then, up to the time of Than-fû, the Kâu people had only had the dwellings here described; but this is not easily reconciled with other accounts, or even with other stanzas of this piece.
[2 ] See a graphic account of the circumstances in which this migration took place, in the fifteenth chapter of the second Part of the first Book of Mencius, very much to the honour of the ancient duke.
[3 ] This lady is known as Thâi-kiang, the worthy predecessor of Thâi-zăn.
[4 ] This stanza has reference to the choice—by council and divination—of a site for what should be the chief town of the new settlement.
[5 ] This stanza describes the general arrangements for the occupancy and cultivation of the plain of Kâu, and the distribution of the people over it.
[1 ] This stanza describes the preparations and processes for erecting the buildings of the new city. The whole took place under the direction of two officers, in whom we have the germ probably of the Six Heads of the Boards or Departments, whose functions are described in the Shû and the Official Book of Kâu. The materials of the buildings were earth and lime pounded together in frames, as is still to be seen in many parts of the country. The first great building taken in hand was the ancestral temple. Than-fû would make a home for the spirits of his fathers, before he made one for himself. However imperfectly directed, the religious feeling asserted the supremacy which it ought to possess.
[2 ] The bustle and order of the building all over the city is here graphically set forth.
[3 ] Than-fû was now at leisure to build the palace for himself, which appears to have been not a very large building, though the Chinese names of its gates are those belonging to the two which were peculiar to the palaces of the kings of Kâu in the subsequent times of the dynasty. Outside the palace were the altars appropriate to the spirits of the four quarters of the land, the ‘great’ or royal altar being peculiar to the kings, though the one built by Than-fû is here so named. All great undertakings, and such as required the co-operation of all the people, were preceded by a solemn sacrifice at this altar.
[1 ] Referring to Than-fû’s relations with the wild hordes, described by Mencius, and which obliged him to leave Pin. As the new settlement in Kâu grew, they did not dare to trouble it.
[2 ] The poet passes on here to the time of king Wăn. The story of the chiefs of Yü and Zui (two states on the east of the Ho) is this:—They had a quarrel about a strip of territory, to which each of them laid claim. Going to lay their dispute before the lord of Kâu, as soon as they entered his territory, they saw the ploughers readily yielding the furrow, and travellers vielding the path, while men and women avoided one another on the road, and old people had no burdens to carry. At his court, they beheld the officers of each inferior grade giving place to those above them. They became ashamed of their own quarrel, agreed to let the disputed ground be an open territory, and withdrew without presuming to appear before Wăn. When this affair was noised abroad, more than forty states, it is said, tendered their submission to Kâu.
[1 ] It is difficult to trace the connexion between these allusive lines and the rest of the piece.
[2 ] Here we have the lord of Kâu in his ancestral temple, assisted by his ministers or great officers in pouring out the libations to the spirits of the departed. The libation-cup was fitted with a handle of jade, that used by the king having a complete kwei, the obelisk-like symbol of rank, while the cups used by a minister had for a handle only half a kwei.
[3 ] Where mount Han was cannot now be determined.
[4 ] As the foot of the hill was favourable to vegetable growth, so were king Wăn’s natural qualities to his distinction and advancement.
[1 ] As a cup of such quality was the proper receptacle for the yellow, herb-flavoured spirits, so was the character of Wăn such that all blessing must accrue to him.
[2 ] It is the nature of the hawk to fly and of fishes to swim, and so there went out an influence from Wăn unconsciously to himself.
[3 ] Red, we have seen, was the proper colour for victims in the ancestral temple of Kâu.
[4 ] As it was natural for the people to take the wood and use it, so it was natural for the spirits of his ancestors, and spiritual beings generally, to bless king Wăn.
[5 ] Thâi Zăn is celebrated, above, in the second ode.
[6 ]Kâu Kiang is ‘the lady Kiang’ of ode 3, the wife of Than-fû or king Thâi, who came with him from Pin. She is here called Kâu, as having married the lord of Kâu.
[1 ] Thâi Sze, the wife of Wăn, we are told in ode 2, was from the state of Hsin. The surname Sze shows that its lords must have been descended from the Great Yü.
[2 ] We are not to suppose that Thâi Sze had herself a hundred sons. She had ten, and her freedom from jealousy so encouraged the fruitfulness of the harem, that all the sons born in it are ascribed to her.
[3 ] Where there was no human eye to observe him, Wăn still felt that he was open to the observation of spiritual beings.
[1 ] Those of Hsiâ and Shang.
[2 ] The same as ‘the hordes of the Khwăn’ in ode 3. Mr. T. W. Kingsmill says that ‘Kwan’ here should be ‘Chun,’ and charges the transliteration Kwan with error (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society for April, 1878). He had not consulted his dictionary for the proper pronunciation of the Chinese character.
[1 ] King Wăn is ‘the proper ruler’ intended here, and the next line intimates that this was determined before there was any likelihood of his becoming the ruler even of the territory of Kâu;—another instance of the foreseeing providence ascribed to God. Thâi-po was the eldest son of king Thâi, and king Kî was, perhaps, only the third. The succession ought to have come to Thâi-po; but he, seeing the sage virtues of Khang (afterwards king Wăn), the son of Kî, and seeing also that king Thâi was anxious that this boy should ultimately become ruler of Kâu, voluntarily withdrew from Kâu altogether, and left the state to Kî and his son. See the remark of Confucius on Thâi-po’s conduct, in the Analects, VIII, i.
[2 ] The lines from six to ten speak of king Kî in his relation to his elder brother. He accepted Thâi-po’s act without any failure of his own duty to him, and by his own improvement of it, made his brother more glorious through it. His feeling of brotherly duty was simply the natural instinct of his heart. Having accepted the act, it only made him the more anxious to promote the good of the state, and thus he made his brother more glorious by showing what advantages accrued from his resignation and withdrawal from Kâu.
[3 ] This line refers to Kî’s maintenance of his own loyal duty to the dynasty of Shang, and his making all the states under his presidency loyal also.
[1 ] The statement that ‘God spake to king Wăn,’ repeated in stanza 7, vexes the Chinese critics, and they find in it simply an intimation that Wăn’s conduct was ‘in accordance with the will of Heaven.’ I am not prepared to object to that view of the meaning; but it is plain that the writer, in giving such a form to his meaning, must have conceived of God as a personal Being, knowing men’s hearts, and able to influence them.
[2 ] Mî or Mî-hsü was a state in the present King-ning Kâu, of Phing-liang department, Kan-sû.
[3 ] Yüan was a state adjacent to Mî,—the present King Kâu, and Kung must have been a place or district in it.
[4 ] Wăn, it appears, made now a small change in the site of his capital, but did not move to Făng, where he finally settled.
[1 ]Khung was a state, in the present district of Hû, department Hsî-an, Shen-hsî. His conquest of Khung was an important event in the history of king Wăn. He moved his capital to it, advancing so much farther towards the east, nearer to the domain of Shang. According to Sze-mâ Khien the marquis of Khung had slandered the lord of Kâu, who was president of the states of the west, to Kâu-hsin, the king of Shang, and our hero was put in prison. His friends succeeded in effecting his deliverance by means of various gifts to the tyrant, and he was reinstated in the west with more than his former power. Three years afterwards he attacked the marquis of Khung.
[2 ] So far the siege was prosecuted slowly and, so to say, tenderly, Wăn hoping that the enemy would be induced to surrender without great sacrifice of life.
[3 ] The sacrifice to God had been offered in Kâu, at the commencement of the expedition; that to the Father of War, on the army’s arriving at the borders of Khung. We can hardly tell who is intended by the Father of War. Kû Hsî and others would require the plural ‘Fathers,’ saying the sacrifice was to Hwang Tî and Khih Yû, who are found engaged in hostilities far back in the mythical period of Chinese history. But Khih Yû appears as a rebel, or opposed to the One man in all the country who was then fit to rule. It is difficult to imagine how they could be associated, and sacrificed to together.
[1 ] The extinction of its sacrifices was the final act in the extinction of a state. Any members of its ruling House who might survive could no longer sacrifice to their ancestors as having been men of princely dignity. The family was reduced to the ranks of the people.
[2 ] ‘The three sovereigns,’ or ‘wise kings,’ are to be understood of the three celebrated in ode 7,—Thâi, Kî, and Wăn. We are thus obliged, with all Chinese scholars, to understand this ode of king Wû. The statement that ‘the three kings were in heaven’ is very express.
[3 ] The capital here is Hâo, to which Wû removed in bc 1134, the year after his father’s death. It was on the east of the river Făng, and only about eight miles from Wăn’s capital of Făng.
[1 ] As related in ode 7.
[2 ] Făng had, probably, been the capital of Khung, and Wăn removed to it, simply making the necessary repairs and alterations. This explains how we find nothing about the divinations which should have preceded so important a step as the founding of a new capital.
[1 ] The writer has passed on to Wû, who did actually become king.
[2 ] See on the third of the Praise Odes of Lû in Part IV.
[3 ] Hâo was built by Wû, and hence we have the account of his divining about the site and the undertaking.
[1 ] ‘The white millet,’ a valuable species, grown near the Făng, suggests to the writer the idea of all the men of ability whom Wû collected around him.
[2 ] Our ‘people’ is of course the people of Kâu. The whole piece is about the individual from whom the House of Kâu sprang, of which were the kings of the dynasty so called.
[3 ] To whom Kiang Yüan sacrificed and prayed we are not told, but I receive the impression that it was to God,—see the next stanza,—and that she did so all alone with the special object which is mentioned.
[1 ] The ‘toe-print made by God’ has occasioned much speculation of the critics. We may simply draw the conclusion that the poet meant to have his readers believe with him that the conception of his hero was supernatural. We saw in the third of the Sacrificial Odes of Shang that there was also a legend assigning a præter-natural birth to the father of the House of Shang.
[2 ] It does not appear from the ode who exposed the infant to these various perils; nor did Chinese tradition ever fashion any story on the subject. Mâo makes the exposure to have been made by Kiang Yüan’s husband, dissatisfied with what had taken place; Kăng, by the mother herself, to show the more the wonderful character of her child. Readers will compare the accounts with the Roman legends about Romulus and Remus, their mother and her father; but the two legends differ according to the different characters of the Chinese and Roman peoples.
[1 ] Hâu-kî’s mother, we have seen, was a princess of Thâi, in the present district of Wû-kung, Khien Kâu, Shen-hsî. This may have led to his appointment to that principality, and the transference of the lordship from Kiangs to Kîs. Evidently he was appointed to that dignity for his services in the promotion of agriculture. Still he has not displaced the older Shăn-nung, with whom on his father’s side he had a connexion, as ‘the Father of Husbandry.’
[2 ] This is not to be understood of sacrifice in general, as if there had been no such thing before Hâu-kî; but of the sacrifices of the House of Kâu,—those in the ancestral temple and others,—which began with him as its great ancestor.
[1 ] That is, we divine about the day, and choose the officers to take part in the service.
[2 ] A sacrifice was offered to the spirit of the road on commencing a journey, and we see here that it was offered also in connexion with the king’s going to the ancestral temple or the border altar.
[3 ] It does not appear clearly what sacrifices the poet had in view here. I think they must be all those in which the kings of Kâu appeared as the principals or sacrificers. The concluding line is understood to intimate that the kings were not to forget that a prosperous agriculture was the foundation of their prosperity.
[4 ] In this stanza we have the peculiar honour paid to Hâu-kî by his descendants at one of the great border sacrifices to God,—the same to which the last ode in the first decade of the Sacrificial Odes of Kâu belongs.
[1 ] In the rushes growing up densely from a common root we have an emblem of brothers all sprung from the same ancestor; and in the plants developing so finely, when preserved from injury, an emblem of the happy fellowships of consanguinity, when nothing is allowed to interfere with mutual confidence and good feeling.
[2 ] In a previous note I have said that chairs and tables had not come into use in those early times. Guests sat and feasts were spread on mats on the floor; for the aged, however, stools were placed on which they could lean forward.
[1 ] That is, the guests, visitors, and officers of the court.
[2 ] Towards the end of the sacrificial service, the eldest son of the king joined in pledging the representatives of their ancestors.
[3 ] The King is an affluent of the Wei, not far from Wû’s capital of Hâo. The birds, feeling at home in its waters, on its sands, &c., serve to introduce the parties feasted, in a situation where they might relax from the gravity of the preceding day, and be happy.
[1 ] ‘Host of the hundred—i.e., of all—the spirits’ is one of the titles of the sovereign of China. It was and is his prerogative to offer the great ‘border sacrifices’ to Heaven and Earth, or, as Confucius explains them, to God, and to the spirits of his ancestors in his ancestral temple; and in his progresses (now neglected), among the states, to the spirits of the hills and rivers throughout the kingdom. Every feudal prince could only sacrifice to the hills and streams within his own territory. Under the changed conditions of the government of China, the sacrificial ritual of the emperor still retains the substance of whatever belonged to the sovereigns in this respect from the earliest dynasties. On the text here, Khung Ying-tâ of the Thang dynasty said, ‘He who possesses all under the sky, sacrifices to all the spirits, and thus he is the host of them all.’ Kû Hsî said on it, ‘And always be the host of (the spirits of) Heaven and Earth, of the hills and rivers, and of the departed.’ The term ‘host’ does not imply any superiority of rank on the part of the entertainer. In the greatest sacrifices the emperor acknowledges himself as ‘the servant or subject of Heaven.’ See the prayer of the first of the present Manchâu line of emperors, in announcing that he had ascended the throne, at the altar of Heaven and Earth, in 1644, as translated by the Rev. Dr. Edkins in the chapter on Imperial Worship, in the recent edition of his ‘Religion in China.’
[1 ] The phœnix (so the creature has been named) is a fabulous bird, ‘the chief of the 360 classes of the winged tribes.’ It is mentioned in the fourth Book of the second Part of the Shû, as appearing in the courtyard of Shun; and the appearance of a pair of them has always been understood to denote a sage on the throne and prosperity in the country. Even Confucius (Analects, IX, viii) could not express his hopelessness about his own times more strongly than by saying that ‘the phœnix did not make its appearance.’ He was himself also called ‘a phœnix,’ in derision, by one of the recluses of his time (Analects, XVIII, v). The type of the bird was, perhaps, the Argus pheasant, but the descriptions of it are of a monstrous creature, having ‘a fowl’s head, a swallow’s chin, a serpent’s neck, a fish’s tail,’ &c. It only lights on the dryandra cordifolia, of which tree also many marvellous stories are related. The poet is not to be understood as saying that the phœnix actually appeared; but that the king was sage and his government prosperous, as if it had appeared.
[1 ] ‘The clear will,’ according to Kû Hsî, is ‘the clear appointment of Heaven;’ according to Kû Kung-khien, ‘correct principle.’ They both mean the law of human duty, as gathered from the nature of man’s moral constitution conferred by Heaven.
[1 ] The proof of God’s having reversed his usual course of procedure was to be found in the universal misery of the people, whose good He was understood to desire, and for the securing of which government by righteous kings was maintained by him.
[2 ] If ancient worthies thought that persons in such mean employments were to be consulted, surely the advice of the writer deserved to be taken into account by his comrades.
[1 ] During all the time of the sacrifice, the personators of the dead said not a word, but only ate and drank. To the semblance of them good men were now reduced.
[2 ] The meaning is, that Heaven has so attuned the mind to virtue, that, if good example were set before the people, they would certainly and readily follow it. This is illustrated by various instances of things, in which the one succeeded the other freely and as if necessarily; so that government by virtue was really very easy.
[1 ] The meaning seems to be that, whatever miseries might prevail, and be ignorantly ascribed to God, they were in reality owing to men’s neglect of the law of Heaven inscribed on their hearts.
[1 ] We speak of ‘turning night into day.’ The tyrant of Shang turned day into night. Excesses, generally committed in darkness, were by him done openly.
[2 ] These ‘demon regions’ are understood to mean the seat of the Turkic tribes to the north of China, known from the earliest times by various names—‘The hill Zung,’ ‘the northern Lî,’ ‘the Hsien-yun,’ &c. Towards the beginning of our era, they were called Hsiung-nû, from which, perhaps, came the name Huns; and some centuries later, Thû-küeh (Thuh-küeh), from which came Turk. We are told in the Yî, under the diagram Kî-kî, that Kâo Ȝung (bc 1324-1266) conducted an expedition against the demon regions, and in three years subdued them.
[1 ] Wû writes as the marquis of Wei, the ruler of a state; but what he says is susceptible of universal application. In every smaller sphere, and in the largest, ‘being the man,’ displaying, that is, the proper qualities of humanity, will be appreciated and felt.
[1 ] Han Ying (who has been mentioned in the Introduction) says that Wû made the sixth ode of the seventh decade of the former Part against drunkenness, when he was repenting of his own giving way to that vice. His mention of the habit here, at the age of ninety-five, must be understood as a warning to other rulers.
[2 ] Line 3 describes things important to the cultivation of one’s self; and line 4, things important to the regulation of one’s family. They may seem unimportant, it is said, as compared with the defence of the state, spoken of in the last four lines of the stanza; but the ruler ought not to neglect them.
[1 ] And therefore every one is himself responsible for his words.
[2 ]Kû Hsî says that from the fourth line this stanza only speaks of the constant care there should be in watching over one’s thoughts; but in saying so, he overlooks the consideration by which such watchful care is enforced. Compare what is said of king Wăn in the third stanza of the sixth ode of the first decade. King Wăn and duke Wû were both influenced by the consideration that their inmost thoughts, even when ‘unseen by men,’ were open to the inspection of spiritual beings.
[1 ] That is, every deed, in fact, meets with its recompense.
[2 ] See the conclusion of duke Wû’s ode against drunkenness. Horns grow as the young ram grows. Effects must not be expected where there have not been the conditions from which they naturally spring.
[3 ] Such wood is the proper material for a bow.
[4 ] That is, to secure your attention.
[1 ] These three lines are metaphorical of the once flourishing kingdom, which was now brought to the verge of ruin.
[1 ] That is, the war-chariots, each drawn by its team of four horses.
[2 ] The young and able-bodied of the people were slain or absent on distant expeditions, and only old and gray-headed men were to be seen.
[3 ] Intimating that no such men were now to be found in office.
[4 ] Meaning the king by his misgovernment and employment of bad men.
[1 ] We must translate here in the plural, ‘the middle states’ meaning all the states subject to the sovereign of Kâu.
[2 ] In the Official Book of Kâu, among the duties of the Minister of Instruction, or, as Biot translates the title, ‘the Director of the Multitudes,’ it is stated that one of the things he has to do, on occurrences of famine, is ‘to seek out the spirits,’ that is, as explained by the commentators, to see that sacrifices are offered to all the spirits, even such as may have been discontinued. This rule had, no doubt, been acted on during the drought which this ode describes.
[1 ] We have, in the sixth Book of the fifth Part of the Shû, an instance of the use of the symbols here mentioned in sacrificing to the spirits of departed kings. The Official Book, among the duties of the Minister of Religion, mentions the use of these and other symbols—in all six, of different shapes and colours—at the different sacrifices.
[2 ] By ‘the border altars’ we are to understand the altars in the suburbs of the capital, where Heaven and Earth were sacrificed to;—the great services at the solstices, and any other seasons. The mention of Hâu-kî in the seventh line makes us think especially of the service in the spring, to pray for a good year, when Hâu-kî was associated with God.
[3 ] ‘The (Powers) above and below’ are Heaven and Earth. The offerings, during the progress of the service, were placed on the ground, or on the altars, and buried in the earth at the close of it. This explains what the king says in the first stanza about the offerings of jade being exhausted.
[1 ] Equivalent to the extinction of the dynasty.
[2 ] The king had sacrificed to all the early lords of Kâu. ‘The many dukes’ may comprehend kings Thâi and Kî. He had also sacrificed to their ministers. Compare what Pan-kăng says in the Shû; p. 109, about his predecessors and their ministers. Some take ‘the many dukes, and the ministers,’ of all princes of states who had signalised themselves by services to the people and kingdom.
[3 ] The king could hardly hope that his father, the oppressive Lî, would in his spirit-state give him any aid; but we need only find in his words the expression of natural feeling. Probably it was the consideration of the character of Lî which has made some critics understand by ‘parents’ and ‘ancestors’ the same individuals, namely, kings Wăn and Wû, ‘the ancestors’ of Hsüan, and who had truly been ‘the parents’ of the people.
[4 ] Khung Ying-tâ, from ‘the Book of Spirits and Marvels,’ gives the following account of ‘the demon of drought:’—‘In the southern regions there is a man, two or three cubits in height, with the upper part of his body bare, and his eyes in the top of his head. He runs with the speed of the wind, and is named Po. In whatever state he appears, there ensues a great drought.’ The Book of Spirits and Marvels, however, as it now exists, cannot be older than our fourth or fifth century.
[1 ] That is, to withdraw and give place to a more worthy sovereign.
[2 ] This was the border sacrifice to God, when Hâu-kî was associated with him. Some critics add a sacrifice in the first month of winter, for a blessing on the ensuing year, offered to ‘the honoured ones of heaven,’—the sun, moon, and zodiacal constellations.
[3 ] See note 2 on p. 371.
[4 ] See note 1 on p. 356.
[1 ] Shăn was a small marquisate, a part of what is the present department of Nan-yang, Ho-nan. Fû, which was also called Lü, was another small territory, not far from Shăn. The princes of both were Kiangs, descended from the chief minister of Yâo, called in the first Book of the Shû, ‘the Four Mountains.’ Other states were ruled by his descendants, particularly the great state of Khî. When it is said here that a spirit was sent down from the great mountains, and produced the birth of (the princes of) Fû and Shăn, we have, probably, a legendary tradition concerning the birth of Yao’s minister, which was current among all his descendants; and with which we may compare the legends that have come under our notice about the supernatural births of the ancestors of the founders of the Houses of Shang and Kâu. The character for ‘mountains’ in lines 1 and 3 is the same that occurs in the title of Yâo’s minister. On the statement about the mountains sending down a spirit, Hwang Hsün, a critic of the Sung dynasty, says that ‘it is merely a personification of the poet, to show how high Heaven had a mind to revive the fortunes of Kâu, and that we need not trouble ourselves about whether there was such a spirit or not.’
[1 ] Hsieh was in the present Făng Kâu of the department of Nan-yang.
[2 ] Compare with this the account given, in ode 3 of the first decade, of the settling of ‘the ancient duke Than-fû’ in the plain of Kâu. Here, as there, the great religious edifice, the ancestral temple, takes precedence of all other buildings in the new city.
[3 ] The steeds with their equipments were tokens of the royal favour, usually granted on occasions of investiture. The conferring of them was followed immediately by the departure of the newly-invested prince to his charge.
[1 ] We get an idea of the meaning which has been attached to these four lines from a very early time by Mencius’ quotation of them (VI, i, ch. 6) in support of his doctrine of the goodness of human nature, and the remark on the piece which he attributes to Confucius, that ‘the maker of it knew indeed the constitution (of our nature).’ Every faculty, bodily or mental, has its function to fulfil, and every relationship its duty to be discharged. The function and the duty are the things which the human being has to observe:—the seeing clearly, for instance, with the eyes, and hearing distinctly with the ears; the maintenance of righteousness between ruler and minister, and of affection between parent and child. This is the ‘normal nature,’ and the ‘normal virtue’ is the nature fulfilling the various laws of its constitution.
[2 ] The connexion between these four lines and those that precede is this:—that while Heaven produces all men with the good nature there described, on occasions it produces others with virtue and powers in a super-eminent degree. Such an occasion was presented by the case of king Hsüan, and therefore, to mark its appreciation of him, and for his help, it now produced Kung Shan-fû.
[3 ] This was a special sacrifice at the commencement of a journey, or of an expedition. See note 2 on p. 399.
[1 ] See note 2 on p. 386.
[2 ] The cup and the spirits would be used by the earl when sacrificing in his ancestral temple. Compare the similar gift from king Khăng to the duke of Kâu, in the Shû, p. 194. More substantial gifts are immediately specified.
[3 ] ‘The Accomplished one’ is understood to be king Wăn (= ‘the Accomplished king’). He was the founder of the Kâu dynasty. To him the kingdom had first come by the appointment and gift of Heaven. It was the duty therefore of his successors, in making grants of territory to meritorious officers, to announce them to him in Khî-kâu, the old territory of the family, and obtain, as it were, his leave for what they were doing.
[1 ] By ‘the net of crime’ we are to understand the multitude of penal laws, to whose doom people were exposed. In stanza 6, Heaven is represented as letting it down.
[2 ] Compare ode 9 of the fourth decade in the former Part.
[1 ] The writer in these concluding lines ventures to summon the king to repentance, and to hold out a hope that there might come a change in their state. He does this, believing that all things are possible with Heaven.
[1 ] If the character here translated ‘temple’ had no other signification but that, there would be an end of the dispute about the meaning of the piece. But while we find it often used of the ancestral temple, it may also mean any building, especially one of a large and public character, such as a palace or mansion; and hence some contend that it should be interpreted here of ‘the silkworm house.’ We are to conceive of the lady, after having gathered the materials for sacrificial use, then preparing them according to rule, and while it is yet dark on the morning of the sacrificial day, going with them into the temple, and setting them forth in their proper vessels and places.
[1 ] ‘The ancestral chamber’ was a room behind the temple of the family, dedicated specially to the ancestor of the officer whose wife is the subject of the piece. The princes of states were succeeded, as a rule, by the eldest son of the wife proper. Their sons by other wives were called ‘other sons.’ The eldest son by the wife proper of one of them became the ‘great ancestor’ of the clan descended from him, and ‘the ancestral chamber’ was an apartment dedicated to him. Mâo and other interpreters, going on certain statements as to the training of daughters in the business of sacrificing in this apartment for three months previous to their marriage, contend that the lady spoken of here was not yet married, but was only undergoing this preparatory education. It is not necessary, however, to adopt this interpretation. The lady appears doing the same duties as the wife in the former piece.
[1 ] The ‘Complete Digest of Comments on the Shih’ warns its readers not to take ‘Heaven’ here as synonymous with Ming, ‘what is decreed or commanded.’ The writer does not go on to define the precise idea which he understood the character to convey. This appears to be what we often mean by ‘Providence,’ when we speak of anything permitted, rather than appointed, by the supreme ruling Power.
[1 ] These allusive lines, probably, indicate the speaker’s widowhood, which left her like ‘a boat floating about on the water.’
[2 ] Such was the mode in which the hair was kept, while a boy or young man’s parents were alive, parted into two tufts from the pia mater, and brought down as low as the eyebrows on either side of the forehead.
[3 ] Mâo thought that the lady intended her father by ‘Heaven;’ while Kû held that her father may have been dead, and that the mother is called Heaven, with reference to the kindness and protection that she ought to show. There seems rather to be in the term a wild, and not very intelligent, appeal to the supreme Power in heaven.
[1 ] The lady is introduced arrayed in the gorgeous robes worn by the princess of a state in the ancestral temple.
[2 ] P. Lacharme translated these two concluding lines by ‘Tu primo aspectu coelos (pulchritudine), et imperatorem (majestate) adaequas,’ without any sanction of the Chinese critics; and moreover there was no Tî () in the sense of imperator then in China. The sovereigns of Kâu were wang or kings. Kû Hsî expands the lines thus:—‘Such is the beauty of her robes and appearance, that beholders are struck with awe, as if she were a spiritual being.’ Hsü Khien (Yüan dynasty) deals with them thus:—‘With such splendour of beauty and dress, how is it that she is here? She has come down from heaven! She is a spiritual being!’
[3 ] Ting is the name of a small space in the heavens, embracing a Markab and another star of Pegasus. Its culminating at night-fall was the signal that the labours of husbandry were over for the year, and that building operations should be taken in hand. Great as was the urgency for the building of his new capital, duke Wăn would not take it in hand till the proper time for such a labour was arrived.
[4 ]Khû, or Khû-khiû, was the new capital of Wei, in the present district of Khăng-wû, department Ȝhâo-kâu, Shan-tung.
[1 ] Thang was the name of a town, evidently not far from Khû.
[2 ] We have seen before how divination was resorted to on occasion of new undertakings, especially in proceeding to rear a city.
[1 ] The Khî was a famous river of Wei.
[2 ] Tun-khiû was a well-known place—‘the mound or height of Tun’—south of the Wei.
[3 ] Fû-kwan must have been the place where the man lived, according to Kû. Rather, it must have been a pass (Fû-kwan may mean ‘the gate or pass of Fû’), through which he would come, and was visible from near the residence of the woman.
[4 ] Ying-tâ observes that the man had never divined about the matter, and said that he had done so only to complete the process of seduction. The critics dwell on the inconsistency of divination being resorted to in such a case:—‘Divination is proper only if used in reference to what is right and moral.’
[1 ] That is, there where the ancestral temple and other grand buildings of Hâo had once stood.
[2 ] ‘He cried out to Heaven,’ says Yen Ȝhan, ‘and told (his distress), but he calls it distant in its azure brightness, lamenting that his complaint was not heard.’ This is, probably, the correct explanation of the language. The speaker would by it express his grief that the dynasty of Kâu and its people were abandoned and uncared for by Heaven.
[3 ] Referring to king Yû, whose reckless course had led to the destruction of Hâo by the Zung, and in a minor degree to his son, king Phing, who had subsequently removed to the eastern capital.
[1 ] In the ‘Complete Digest’ this oath is expanded in the following way:—‘These words are from my heart. If you think that they are not sincere, there is (a Power) above, like the bright sun, observing me;—how should my words not be sincere?’
[1 ] Trees are not the proper place for geese to rest on; and the attempt to do so is productive of much noise and trouble to the birds. The lines would seem to allude to the hardships of the soldiers’ lot, called from their homes to go on a distant expedition.
[2 ] See note 2 on ode 1 of Book vi, where Heaven is appealed to in the same language.
[3 ] These two lines are taken as allusive, the speaker being led by the sight of the weak plants supported by the trees, shrubs, and tombs, to think of her own desolate, unsupported condition. But they may also be taken as narrative, and descriptive of the battleground, where her husband had met his death.
[1 ] These things had been ornaments of the bridal chamber; and as the widow thinks of them, her grief becomes more intense.
[1 ] It is difficult to see the relation between these two allusive lines and the rest of the stanza. Some say that it is this,—that the people loved the three victims as they liked the birds; others that the birds among the trees were in their proper place,—very different from the brothers in the grave of duke Mû.
[1 ] This appeal to Heaven is like what we met with in the first of the Odes of the Royal Domain, and the eighth of those of Thang.
[1 ] They went for the ice to the deep recesses of the hills, and wherever it was to be found in the best condition.
[2 ] It is said in the last chapter of ‘the Great Learning,’ that ‘the family which keeps its stores of ice does not rear cattle or sheep,’ meaning that the possessor of an ice-house must be supposed to be very wealthy, and above the necessity of increasing his means in the way described. Probably, the having ice-houses by high ministers and heads of clans was an innovation on the earlier custom, according to which such a distinction was proper only to the king, or the princes of states, on whom it devolved as ‘the fathers of the people,’ to impart from their stores in the hot season as might be necessary. The third and fourth lines of this stanza are to be understood of what was done by the orders of the ruler of the tribe of Kâu in Pin. In the Official Book of Kâu, Part I, ch. 5, we have a description of the duties of ‘the Providers of Ice,’ and the same subject is treated in the sixth Book of ‘the Record of Rites,’ sections 2 and 6. The ice having been collected and stored in winter, the ice-houses were solemnly opened in the spring. A sacrifice was offered to ‘the Ruler of Cold, the Spirit of the Ice,’ and of the first ice brought forth an offering was set out in the apartment behind the principal hall of the ancestral temple. A sacrifice to the same Ruler of Cold, it is said, had also been offered when the ice began to be collected. The ceremony may be taken as an illustration of the manner in which religious services entered into the life of the ancient Chinese.
[1 ] The custom described in the five concluding lines is mentioned to show the good and loyal feeling of the people of Pin towards their chief. Having finished all the agricultural labours of the year, and being now prepared to enjoy the results of their industry, the first thing they do is to hasten to the hall of their ruler, and ask him to share in their joy, and express their loyal wishes for his happiness.