Part 2 out of 4
visitor, from the delight that his presence gave him. Compare the
similar language in the second ode of the fourth decade of Part II.]
ODE 10. THE WU.
SUNG IN THE ANCESTRAL TEMPLE TO THE MUSIC REGULATING THE DANCE
IN HONOUR OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF KING WU.
This account of the piece, given in the Preface, is variously
corroborated, and has not been called in question by any critic. Perhaps
this brief ode was sung as a prelude to the dance, or it may be that the
seven lines are only a fragment. This, indeed, is most likely, as we
have several odes in the next decade, all said to have been used at the
Oh! great wast thou, O king Wu, Displaying the utmost strength in thy
work. Truly accomplished was king Wan, Opening the path for his
successors. Thou didst receive the inheritance from him. Thou didst
vanquish Yin, and put a stop to its cruelties;--Effecting the firm
establishment of thy merit.
The Third Decade, or that of Min Yue Hsiao Dze.
ODE 1. THE MIN YUe.
APPROPRIATE TO THE YOUNG KING KHANG, DECLARING HIS SENTIMENTS
IN THE TEMPLE OF HIS FATHER.
The speaker in this piece is, by common consent, king Khang. The only
question is as to the date of its composition, whether it was made for
him, in his minority, on his repairing to the temple when the mourning
for his father was completed, or after the expiration of the regency of
the duke of Kau. The words 'little child,' according to their usage, are
expressive of humility and not of age. They do not enable us to
determine the above point.
Alas for me, who am a little child, On whom has devolved the unsettled
state! Solitary am I and full of distress. Oh! my great Father, All thy
life long, thou wast filial.
Thou didst think of my great grandfather, (Seeing, him, as it were)
ascending and descending in the court, I, the little child, Day and
night will be as reverent.
Oh! ye great kings, As your successor, I will strive not to forget you.
ODE 2. THE FANG LO.
THE YOUNG KING TELLS OF HIS DIFFICULTIES AND INCOMPETENCIES;
ASKS FOR COUNSEL TO KEEP HIM TO COPY THE EXAMPLE OF HIS
FATHER; STATES HOW HE MEANT TO DO SO; AND CONCLUDES WITH AN
APPEAL OR PRAYER TO HIS FATHER.
This seems to be a sequel to the former ode. We can hardly say anything
about it so definite as the statement in the Preface, that it relates to
a council held by Khang and his ministers in the ancestral temple.
I take counsel at the beginning of my (rule), How I can follow (the
example of) my shrined father. Ah! far-reaching (were his plans), And I
am not yet able to carry them out. However I endeavour to reach to them,
My continuation of them will still be all-deflected. I am a little
child, Unequal to the many difficulties of the state. Having taken his
place, (I will look for him) to go up and come down in the court, To
ascend and descend in the house. Admirable art thou, O great Father,
(Condescend) to preserve and enlighten me.
ODE 3. THE KING KIH.
KING KHANG SHOWS HIS SENSE OF WHAT WAS REQUIRED OF HIM TO
PRESERVE THE FAVOUR OF HEAVEN, A CONSTANT JUDGE; INTIMATES HIS
GOOD PURPOSES; AND ASKS THE HELP OF HIS MINISTERS TO BE
ENABLED TO PERFORM THEM.
Let me be reverent! Let me be reverent! (The way of) Heaven is evident,
And its appointment is not easily preserved. Let me not say that it
is high aloft above me. It ascends and descends about our doings; It
daily inspects us wherever we are.
I am a little child, Without intelligence to be reverently (attentive to
my duties); But by daily progress and monthly advance, I will learn to
hold fast the gleams (of knowledge), till I arrive at bright
intelligence. Assist me to bear the burden (of my position), And show me
how to display a virtuous conduct.
ODE 4. THE HSIAO PI.
KING KHANG ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HE HAD ERRED, AND STATES HIS
PURPOSE TO HE CAREFUL IN THE FUTURE; HE WILL GUARD AGAINST THE
SLIGHT BEGINNINGS OF EVIL; AND IS PENETRATED WITH A SENSE OF
HIS OWN INCOMPETENCIES.
This piece has been considered by some critics as the conclusion of the
council in the ancestral temple, with which the previous two also are
thought to be connected. The Preface says that the king asks in it for
the assistance of his ministers, but no such request is expressed. I
seem myself to see in it, with Su Kheh and others, a reference to the
suspicions which Khang at one time, we know, entertained of the fidelity
of the duke of Kau, when he was inclined to believe the rumours spread
against him by his other uncles, who joined in rebellion with the son of
the last king of Shang.
I condemn myself (for the past), And will be on my guard against future
calamity. I will have nothing to do with a wasp, To seek for myself its
painful sting. At first indeed it seemed to be
[1. The meaning is this: 'The way of Heaven is very clear, to bless the
good, namely, and punish the bad. But its favour is thus dependent on
men themselves, and hard to preserve.']
(but) a wren. But it took wing, and became a large bird. I am unequal
to the many difficulties of the kingdom, And am placed in the midst of
ODE 5. THE ZAI SHU
THE CULTIVATION OF THE GROUND FROM THE FIRST BREAKING OF IT
UP, TILL IT YIELDS ABUNDANT HARVESTS:--AVAILABLE SPECIALLY FOR
SACRIFICES AND FESTIVE OCCASIONS. WHETHER INTENDED TO BE USED
ON OCCASIONS OF THANKSGIVING, OR IN SPRING WHEN PRAYING FOR A
GOOD YEAR, CANNOT BE DETERMINED.
The Preface says that this ode was used in spring, when the king in
person turned up some furrows in the field set apart for that purpose,
and prayed at the altars of the spirits of the land and the grain, for
an abundant year. Ka Hsi says he does not know on what occasion it was
intended to be used; but comparing it with the fourth ode of the second
decade, he is inclined to rank it with that as an ode of thanksgiving.
There is nothing in the piece itself to determine us in favour of either
view. It brings before us a series of pleasing pictures of the husbandry
of those early times. The editors of the imperial edition say that its
place in the Sung makes it clear that it was an accompaniment of some
royal sacrifice, We need not controvert this; but the poet evidently
singled out some large estate, and describes the labour on it, from the
first bringing it under cultivation to the state in which it was before
his eyes, and concludes by saying that the picture which he gives of it
had long been applicable to the whole country.
They clear away the grass and the bushes; And the ground is laid open by
In thousands of pairs they remove the roots, Some in the low wet land,
some along the dykes.
[1. The Chinese characters here mean, literally, 'peach-tree insect,'
or, as Dr. Williams has it, 'peach-bug.' Another name for the bird is
'the clever wife,' from the artistic character of its nest, which would
point it out as the small 'tailor bird.' But the name is applied to
various small birds.]
There are the master and his eldest son; His younger sons, and all their
children; Their strong helpers, and their hired servants. How the noise
of their eating the viands brought to them resounds! (The husbands)
think lovingly of their wives; (The wives) keep close to their husbands.
(Then) with their sharp ploughshares They set to work on the south-lying
They sow their various kinds of grain, Each seed containing in it a germ
In unbroken lines rises the blade, And, well nourished, the stalks grow
Luxuriant looks the young grain, And the weeders go among it in multitudes.
Then come the reapers in crowds, And the o-rain is piled up in the
fields, Myriads, and hundreds of thousands, and millions (of stacks);
For spirits and for sweet spirits, To offer to our ancestors, male and
female, And to provide for all ceremonies.
Fragrant is their aroma, Enhancing the glory of the state. Like pepper
is their smell, To give comfort to the aged.
It is not here only that there is this (abundance); It is not now only
that there is such a time:--From of old it has been thus.
ODE 6. THE LIANG SZE.
PRESUMABLY, AN ODE OF THANKSGIVING IN THE AUTUMN TO THE
SPIRITS OF THE LAND AND GRAIN.
Very sharp are the excellent shares, With which they set to work on the
They sow their various kinds of grain, Each seed containing in it a germ
There are those who come to see them, With their baskets round and
square, Containing the provisions of millet.
With their light splint hats on their heads, They ply their hoes on the
ground, Clearing away the smartweed on the dry land and wet.
The weeds being decayed, The millets grow luxuriantly.
They fall rustling before the reapers. The gathered crop is piled up
solidly, High as a wall, United together like the teeth of a comb; And
the hundred houses are opened (to receive the grain).
Those hundred houses being full, The wives and children have a feeling
(Now) we kill this black-muzzled tawny bull, with his crooked horns,
To imitate and hand down, To hand down (the observances of) our ancestors.
ODE 7. THE SZE I.
AN ODE APPROPRIATE TO THE PREPARATIONS AND PROGRESS OF A FEAST
AFTER A SACRIFICE.
The Preface and the editors of the Yung-khang Shih say that the piece
has reference to the entertainment given, the day after a
[1. 'The hundred houses,' or chambers in a hundred family residences,
are those of the hundred families, cultivating the space which was
bounded by a brook;--see note on the second ode of the preceding decade.
They formed a society, whose members helped one another in their field
work, so that their harvest might be said to be carried home at the same
time. Then would come the threshing or treading, and winnowing, after
which the groin would be brought into the houses.
2 It has been observed that under the Kau dynasty, red was the colour of
the sacrificial victims. So it was for the ancestral temple but in
sacrificing to the spirits of the land and grain, the victim was a
'yellow' bull with black lips.]
sacrifice, in the ancestral temple, to the personators of the dead,
described on p. 301. Ku Hsi denies this, and holds simply that it
belongs to the feast after a sacrifice, without further specifying what
sacrifice. The old view is probably the more correct.
In his silken robes, clean and bright, With his cap on his head, looking
so respectful, From the hall he goes to the foot of the stairs, And
(then) from the sheep to the oxen. (He inspects) the tripods, large
and small, And the curved goblet of rhinoceros horn. The good spirits
are mild, (But) there is no noise, no insolence:--An auspice (this) of
ODE 8. THE KO.
AN ODE IN PRAISE OF KING WU, AND RECOGNISING THE DUTY TO
FOLLOW HIS COURSE.
This was sung, according to the Preface, at the conclusion of the dance
in honour of king Wu;--see on the last piece of the second decade.
Oh! powerful was the king's army, But he nursed it, in obedience to
circumstances, while the
[1. The subject of these lines must be an ordinary officer, for to such
the silk robes and a purple cap were proper, when he was assisting at
the sacrifices of the king or of a feudal prince. There were two
buildings outside the principal gate leading to the ancestral temple,
and two corresponding inside, in which the personators of the departed
ancestors were feasted. We must suppose the officer in question
descending from the upper hall to the vestibule of the gate, to inspect
the dishes, arranged for the feast, and then proceeding to see the
animals, and the tripods for boiling the flesh, &c.
2 The goblet of rhinoceros horn was to be drained, as a penalty, by any
one offending at the feast against the rules of propriety; but here
there was no occasion for it.]
time was yet dark. When the time was clearly bright, He thereupon donned
his grand armour. We have been favoured to receive What the martial king
accomplished. To deal aright with what we have inherited, We have to be
sincere imitators of thy course, (O king).
ODE 9. THE HWAN.
CELEBRATING THE MERIT AND SUCCESS OF KING WU.
According to a statement in the Zo Kwan, this piece also was sung in
connexion with the dance of Wu. The Preface says it was used in
declarations of war, and in sacrificing to God and the Father of War.
Perhaps it came to be used on such occasions; but we must refer it in
the first place to the reign of king Khang.
There is peace throughout our myriad regions. There has been a
succession of plentiful years:--Heaven does not weary in its favour. The
martial king Wu Maintained (the confidence of) his officers, And
employed them all over the kingdom, So securing the establishment of his
family. Oh! glorious was he in the sight of Heaven, Which kinged him in
the room (of Shang).
ODE 10. THE LAI.
CELEBRATING THE PRAISE OF KING WAN.
This is the only account of the piece that can be given from itself. The
Zo Kwan, however, refers it to the dance of king Wu; and the Preface
says it contains the words with which Wu accompanied his grant of fiefs
and appanages in the ancestral temple to his principal followers.
King Wan laboured earnestly:--Right is it we should have received (the
kingdom). We will diffuse (his virtue), ever cherishing the thought of
him; Henceforth we will seek only the settlement (of the kingdom). It
was he through whom came the appointment of Kau. Oh! let us ever cherish
the thought of him.
ODE 11. THE PAN.
CELEBRATING THE GREATNESS OF KAU, AND ITS FIRM POSSESSION OF
THE KINGDOM, AS SEEN IN THE PROGRESSES OF ITS REIGNING SOVEREIGN.
In the eighth piece of the first decade we have an ode akin to this,
relating a tentative progress of king Wu, to test the acceptance of his
sovereignty. This is of a later date, and should be referred, probably,
to the reign of king Khang, when the dynasty was fully acknowledged.
Some critics, however, make it, like the three preceding, a portion of
what was sung at the Wu dance.
Oh! great now is Kau. We ascend the high hills, Both those that are long
and narrow, and the lofty mountains. Yes, and (we travel) along the
regulated Ho, All under the sky, Assembling those who now respond to me.
Thus it is that the appointment belongs to Kau.
III. THE PRAISE ODES OF LU.
IT is not according to the truth of things to class the Sung of Lu among
the sacrificial odes, and I do not call them such. Ku Hsi says:--'King
Khang, because of the great services rendered by the duke of Kau,
granted to Po-khin, (the duke's eldest son, and first marquis of Lu),
the privilege of using the royal ceremonies and music, in consequence of
which Lu had its Sung, which were sung to the music in its ancestral
temple. Afterwards, they made in Lu 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 Lu,
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 Lu in this Part
would not be complimentary to his discrimination.
Whether such a privilege as Ku states was really granted to the first
marquis of Lu, is a point very much controverted. Many contend that the
royal ceremonies were usurped in the state,--in the time of duke Hsi
(B.C. 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 Kau. It has often been asked
why there are no Fang of Lu in the first Part of the Shih. The pieces
here are really the Fang of Lu, and may be compared especially with the
Fang of Pin.
Lu was one of the states in the east, having its capital in Khue-fau,
which is still the name of a district in the department of Yen-kau,
Shan-tung. According to Ku, king Khang invested the duke of Kau's eldest
son with the territory. According to Sze-ma Khien, the duke of Kau was
himself appointed marquis of Lu; 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 Kau.
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.
ODE 3. THE PHAN SHUI.
IN PRAISE OF SOME MARQUIS OF LU, CELEBRATING HIS INTEREST IN THE
STATE COLLEGE, WHICH HE HAD, PROBABLY, REPAIRED, TESTIFYING HIS
VIRTUES, AND AUSPICING FOR HIM A COMPLETE TRIUMPH OVER THE
TRIBES OF THE HWAI, WHICH WOULD BE CELEBRATED IN THE COLLEGE.
The marquis here celebrated was, probably, Shan, or 'duke Hsi,'
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 water , And we gather the cress about
it. The marquis of Lu 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 Lu 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 Lu has come to it, And in the college he is drinking.
He is drinking the good spirits. May there be
[1. It is said in the tenth ode of the first decade of the Major Odes of
the Kingdom, that king Wu in his capital of Hao 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 is 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 Lu appears feasting in it, delivering instructions, taking
counsel with his ministers, and receiving the spoils and prisoners of
war. The Li Ki, VIII, ii, 7, refers to sacrifices to Hau-ki in connexion
with the college of Lu. 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.]
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 Lu, Reverently displaying his
virtue, And reverently watching over his deportment, The pattern of the
With great qualities, both civil and martial, Brilliantly he affects his
meritorious ancestors . In everything entirely filial, He seeks the
blessing that is sure to follow.
5. Very intelligent is the marquis of Lu, Making his virtue illustrious.
He has made this college with its semicircle of water, And the tribes of
the Hwai will submit to him . His martial-looking tiger-leaders Will
here present the left ears (of their foes). His examiners, wise as
Kao-yao  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
[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 Hwai 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 Kau.
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
grand, Without noise or display, Without appeal to the judges , 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 Hwai, And brought them to
an unrebellious submission. Only lay your plans securely, And all the
tribes of the Hwai will be won .
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 notes . So awakened shall be those tribes of the Hwai.
They will come presenting their precious things, Their large tortoises,
and their elephants' teeth, And great contributions of the southern
[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 Lu, going forth from the
college, transform the nature of the tribes about the Hwai.
4 That is, according to 'the Tribute of Yue,' in the Shu, from King-kau
ODE 4. THE PI KUNG.
IN PRAISE OF DUKE HSI, AND AUSPICING FOR HIM A MAGNIFICENT
CAREER OF SUCCESS, WHICH WOULD MAKE-LU ALL THAT IT HAD EVER
BEEN:--WRITTEN, PROBABLY, ON AN OCCASION WHEN HSI HAD REPAIRED
THE TEMPLES OF THE STATE, OF WHICH PIOUS ACT HIS SUCCESS WOULD
BE THE REWARD.
There is no doubt that duke Hsi is the hero of this piece. He is
mentioned in the third stanza as 'the son of duke Kwang,' and the
Hsi-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, Yue'. The descriptions of various
sacrifices prove that the lords of Lu, 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 Lu to Khang Yueen and her son Hau-ki. He
then comes to the establishment of the Kau dynasty, and under it of the
marquisate of Lu; and finally to duke Hsi, dilating on his sacrificial
services, the military power of Lu, and the achievements which be might
be expected to accomplish in subjugating all the territory lying to the
east and a long way South, of Lu.
I. How pure and still are the solemn temples, In their strong solidity
and minute completeness! Highly distinguished was Kiang Yuean, Of
virtue undeflected. God regarded her with favour, And without injury or
hurt, Immediately, when her months were completed, She gave birth to
Hau-ki! On him were conferred all blessings,--(To know) how the
(ordinary) millet ripened early, and the sacrificial millet late; How
first to sow pulse
[1. About Kiang Yuean and her conception and birth of Hau-ki, see the
first piece in the third decade of the Major Odes of the Kingdom. There
also Hau-ki's teaching of husbandry is more fully described.]
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 Yue.
2. Among the descendants of Hau-ki, There was king Thai, Dwelling on
the south of (mount) Khi, Where the clipping of Shang began. In process
of time Wan and Wu Continued the work of king Thai, And (the purpose of)
Heaven was carried out in its time, In the plain of Mu . 'Have no
doubts, no anxieties,'--(it was said), 'God is with you .' Wu
disposed of the troops of Shang; He and his men equally, shared in the
achievement. (Then) king (Khang) said, 'My uncle , I will set up your
eldest son, And make him marquis of Lu. I will greatly enlarge your
territory there, To be a help and support to the House of Kau.'
3. Accordingly he appointed (our first) duke of Lo, And made him marquis
in the east, Giving him the hills and rivers, The lands and fields, and
the attached states . The (present) descendant of the duke of Kau,
The son of duke Kwang, With dragon-emblazoned banner, attends the
sacrifices, (Grasping) his six reins soft and pliant. In spring
[1. See on the Sacrificial Odes of Kau, decade i, ode 5.
2. See the Shu, V, iii.
3. Shang-fu, one of Wu's principal leaders, encouraged him at the battle
of Mu with these words.
4 That is, the duke of Kau.
5 That is, small territories, held by chiefs of other surnames, but
acknowledging the jurisdiction of. the lords of Lu, and dependent on
them for introduction to the royal court.]
and autumn he is not remiss; His offerings are all without error. To
the great and sovereign God, And to his great ancestor Hau-ki, He offers
the victims, red and pure  They enjoy, they approve, And bestow
blessings in large number. The duke of Kau, and (your other) great
ancestors, Also bless you.
4. In autumn comes the sacrifice of the season, But the bulls for it
have had their horns capped in summer ; They are the white bull and
the red one . (There are) the bull-figured goblet in, its dignity
; Roast pig, minced meat, and soups; The dishes of bamboo and wood,
and the large stands , And the dancers all complete. The filial
[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 Kau.
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 Kau, 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 Kau 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
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 Lu, Unwaning, unfallen, Unshaken,
undisturbed! They will make your friendship with your three aged
(ministers) 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 helmets . So numerous are his ardent
followers, To deal with the tribes of the west and north, And to punish
those of King and Shu , So that none of them will dare to withstand
us. (The spirits of your ancestors) shall make you grandly prosperous; They
[1. Referring, probably, to the three principal ministers of the state.
2. These lines describe Hsi'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-khu of the last of the Sacrificial Odes of Shang, and
the name Shu was applied to several half-civilized states to the east of
it, which it brought, during the Khun Khiu period, one after another
under its jurisdiction.]
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 Thai is lofty, Looked up to by the state of Lu .
We grandly possess also Kwei and Mang . And we shall extend to the
limits of the east, Even the states along the sea. The tribes of the
Hwai will seek our alliance; All will proffer their allegiance:--Such
shall be the achievements of the marquis of Lu.
7. He shall maintain the possession of Hu and Yi , And extend his
sway to the regions of Hsue , Even to the states along the sea. The
tribes of the Hwai, the Man, and the Mo , 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 Lu.
8. Heaven will give great blessing to our prince, So that with the
eyebrows of longevity he shall
[1. Mount Thai is well known, the eastern of the four great mountains of
China in the time of Shun. It is in the department of Thai-an, Shan-tung.
2 These were two smaller hills in Lu.
3 These were two hills of Lu, in the present district of Zau.
4. Hsue was the name of one of Yue's nine provinces, embracing portions of
the present Shan-tung, Kiang-su, 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 Lu.]
maintain Lu. He shall possess Kang and Hsue, And recover all the
territory of the duke of Kau. Then shall the marquis of Lu feast and be
glad, With his admirable wife and aged mother; With his excellent
ministers and all his (other) officers. 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 Zu-lai , And the cypresses of Hsin-fu , 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
Hsi-sze, Very wide and large, Answering to the expectations of all the
[1. Kang was a city with some adjacent territory, in the present
district of Thang, that had been taken from Lu by Khi. Hsue, called in
the Spring and Autumn 'the fields of Hsue' was west from Lu, 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 Kang in
the first year of duke Hwan (B.C. 711). The poet desires that Hsi should
recover these and all other territory which had at any time belonged to Lu.
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
3. These were two hills, in the present department of Thai-an.]
II. THE MINOR ODES OF THE KINGDOM.
PIECES AND STANZAS ILLUSTRATING THE RELIGIOUS VIEWS AND PRACTICES
OF THE WRITERS AND THEIR TIMES.
The First Decade, or that of Lu-ming.
ODE 5, STANZA 1. THE FA MU.
THE FA MU IS A FESTAL ODE, WHICH WAS SUNG AT THE ENTERTAINMENT
OF FRIENDS;--INTENDED TO CELEBRATE THE DUTY AND VALUE OF
FRIENDSHIP, EVEN TO THE HIGHEST.
On the trees go the blows kang-kang; 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
him; He shall have harmony and peace.
ODE 6. THE THIEN PAO.
A FESTAL ODE, RESPONSIVE TO ANY OF THE FIVE THAT PRECEDE IT. THE
KING'S OFFICERS AND GUESTS, HAVING BEEN FEASTED BY HIM,
CELEBRATE HIS PRAISES, AND DESIRE FOR HIM THE BLESSING OF HEAVEN
AND HIS ANCESTORS.
Ascribed, like the former, to the duke of Kau.
Heaven protects and establishes thee, With the greatest. security; Makes
thee entirely virtuous.
[1. This line and the following show the power and value of the
cultivation of friendship in affecting spiritual beings. That
destination is understood in the widest sense.]
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
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 kings; And they say, 'We give to thee myriads of
years, duration unlimited .'
The spirits come , 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
[1. These dukes and former kings are all the ancestors of the royal
House of Kau, 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.]
the luxuriance of the fir and the cypress;--May such be thy succeeding line!
ODE 9, STANZA 4. THE TI TU.
THE TI TU IS AN ODE OF CONGRATULATION, INTENDED FOR THE MEN WHO
HAVE RETURNED FROM MILITARY DUTY AND SERVICE ON THE FRONTIERS.
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 Khi fu.
ODE 5, STANZAS 5 TO 9. THE SZE KAN.
THE SZE KAN WAS, PROBABLY MADE FOR A FESTIVAL ON THE COMPLETION
OF A PALACE; CONTAINING A DESCRIPTION OF IT, AND PROCEEDING TO
GOOD WISHES FOR THE BUILDER AND HIS POSTERITY. THE STANZAS HERE
GIVEN SHOW HOW DIVINATION WAS RESORTED TO FOR THE INTERPRETATION
The piece is referred to the time of king Hsuean (B.C. 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
dreams. 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 daughters .'
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
with. It will be theirs neither to do wrong nor to do good. Only
about the spirits and the food will
[1. In the Official Book of Kau, 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.]
they have to think, And to cause no sorrow to their parents.
ODE 6, STANZA 4. THE WU YANG.
THE WU YANG IS SUPPOSED TO CELEBRATE THE LARGENESS AND EXCELLENT
CONDITION OF KING HSUeAN'S FLOCKS AND HERDS. THE CONCLUDING
STANZA HAS REFERENCE TO THE DIVINATION OF THE DREAMS OF HIS
Your herdsmen shall dream, Of multitudes and then of fishes, Of the
tortoise-and-serpent, and then of the falcon, banners. 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.
ODE 7. THE KIEH NAN SHAN.
A LAMENTATION OVER THE UNSETTLED STATE OF THE KINGDOM DENOUNCING
THE INJUSTICE AND NEGLECT OF THE CHIEF MINISTER, BLAMING ALSO
THE CONDUCT OF THE KING, WITH APPEALS TO HEAVEN, AND SEEMINGLY
CHARGING IT WITH CRUELTY AND INJUSTICE.
This piece is referred to-the time of king Yu (B.C. 781, to 771), the
unworthy son of king Hsuean. The 'Grand-Master' Yin must have been one of
the 'three Kung,' the highest ministers at the court of Kau, and was,
probably, the chief of the three, and administrator of the government
Lofty is that southern hill , With its masses of rocks! Awe-inspiring
are you, O (Grand-)Master
[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 Kau.]
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
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 Kau, 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
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 rampant , 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, Kia-fu, have made this poem, To lay bare a the king's disorders. If
you would but change your heart, Then would the myriad regions be nourished.
[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.]
ODE 8, STANZAS 4, 5, AND 7. THE KANG YUeEH.
THE KANG YUeEH IS, LIKE THE PRECEDING ODE, A LAMENTATION OVER THE
MISERIES OF THE KINGDOM, AND THE RUIN COMING ON IT; WITH A
SIMILAR, BUT MORE HOPEFULLY EXPRESSED, APPEAL TO HEAVEN, 'THE
Look into the middle of the forest; There are (only) large faggots and
small branches in it . 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
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 them ? 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 crow?'
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 me .
[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. Ka Hsi 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
3. This reference to the diviners of dreams is in derision of their
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?]
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.
ODE 9. THE SHIH YUeEH KIH KIAO.
THE LAMENTATION OF AN OFFICER OVER THE PRODIGIES CELESTIAL AND
TERRESTRIAL, ESPECIALLY AN ECLIPSE OF THE SUN, THAT WERE
BETOKENING THE RUIN OF KAU. HE SETS FORTH WHAT HE CONSIDERED TO
BE THE TRUE CAUSES OF THE PREVAILING MISERY, WHICH WAS BY NO
MEANS TO BE CHARGED ON HEAVEN.
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-mao, 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
Hwang-fu is the President; Fan is the Minister of Instruction; Kia-po is
the (chief) Administrator; Kung-yuen is the chief Cook; Zau is the
Recorder of the Interior; Khwei is Master of the Horse; Yue is Captain of
the Guards; And the beautiful wife blazes, now in possession of her
This Hwang-fu 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-fu 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 Hsiang .
[1. We do not know anything from history of the ministers of Yu
mentioned in this stanza. Hwang-fu 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 Kau. 'The beautiful wife,' no doubt, was the well-known Sze of
Pao, raised by king Yu 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
Mang, department of Hwai-khing, Ho-nan. It had been assigned to
Hwang-fu, 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.]
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 I AND 3. THE YUe WU KANG.
THE WRITER OF THIS PIECE MOURNS OVER THE MISERABLE STATE OF THE
KINGDOM, THE INCORRIGIBLE COURSE OF THE KING, AND OTHER EVILS,
APPEALING ALSO TO HEAVEN, AND SURPRISED THAT IT ALLOWED SUCH
THINGS TO BE.
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
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 Hsiao Min.
ODE 1, STANZAS 1, 2, AND 3. THE HSIAO MIN.
A LAMENTATION OVER THE RECKLESSNESS AND INCAPACITY OF THE KING
AND HIS COUNSELLORS. DIVINATION HAS BECOME OF NO AVAIL, AND
HEAVEN IS DESPAIRINGLY APPEALED TO.
This is referred, like several of the pieces in the fourth decade, to
the time of king Yu.
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 I AND 2. THE HSIAO YUeAN.
SOME OFFICER IN A TIME OF DISORDER AND MISGOVERNMENT URGES ON
HIS BROTHERS THE DUTY OF MAINTAINING THEIR OWN VIRTUE, AND OF
OBSERVING THE GREATEST CAUTION.
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 regained.
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 divine, How I may be able to
[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.]
ODE 3, STANZAS 1 AND 3. THE HSIAO PAN.
THE ELDEST SON AND HEIR-APPARENT OF KING YU BEWAILS HIS
DEGRADATION, APPEALING TO HEAVEN AS TO HIS INNOCENCE, AND
COMPLAINING OF ITS CASTING HIS LOT IN SUCH A TIME.
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 I-khiu, the eldest son of
king Yu. His mother was a princess of the House of Shan; but when Yu
became enamoured of Sze of Pao, the queen was degraded, and the son
banished to Shan.
With flapping wings the crows Come back, flying all in a flock. 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
reverence ; 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?
[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
ODE 4, STANZA 1. THE KHIAO YEN.
SOME ONE, SUFFERING FROM THE KING THROUGH SLANDER, APPEALS TO
HEAVEN, AND GOES ON TO DWELL ON THE NATURE AND EVIL OF SLANDER.
This piece has been referred to the time of king Li, B.C. 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.
A EUNUCH, HIMSELF THE VICTIM OF SLANDER, COMPLAINS OF HIS FATE,
AND WARNS AND DENOUNCES HIS ENEMIES; APPEALING AGAINST THEM, AS
HIS LAST RESORT, TO HEAVEN.
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 north. If the north refused
to receive them, I would throw them into the hands of great (Heaven) .
[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.]
ODE 9. THE TA TUNG.
AN OFFICER OF ONE OF THE STATES OF THE EAST DEPLORES THE
EXACTIONS MADE FROM THEM BY THE GOVERNMENT, COMPLAINS OF THE
FAVOUR SHOWN TO THE WEST, CONTRASTS THE MISERY OF THE PRESENT
WITH THE HAPPINESS OF THE PAST, AND APPEALS TO THE STARS OF
HEAVEN IDLY BEHOLDING THEIR CONDITION.
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 Kau 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 gentlemen Walk along that road to Kau. 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
[1. That is, 'slight-looking,' unfit for toil; and yet they are obliged
to make their journey on foot.]
conveyed home! Alas for us the toiled people! Would that we could have
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.
There is the Milky Way in heaven , Which looks down on us in light;
And the three stars together are the Weaving Sisters, Passing in a
day through seven stages (of the sky).
Although they go through their seven stages, They complete no bright
work for us. Brilliant Shine the Draught Oxen , But they do not serve
to draw our carts. In the east there is Lucifer ; In the west there
is Hesperus ; Long and curved
[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 Liu I (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.]
is the Rabbit Net of the sky ;--But they only occupy their places.
In the south is the Sieve , But it is of no use to sift. In the north
is the Ladle , 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 Sixth Decade, or that of Pei Shan.
ODE 3, STANZAS 1, 4, AND 5. THE HSIAO MING.
AN OFFICER, KEPT LONG ABROAD ON DISTANT SERVICE, APPEALS TO
HEAVEN, DEPLORING THE HARDSHIPS OF HIS LOT, AND TENDERS GOOD
ADVICE TO HIS MORE FORTUNATE FRIENDS AT COURT.
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
Khiu. 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
[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
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
ODE 5. THE KHU ZHZE.
SACRIFICIAL AND FESTAL SERVICES IN THE ANCESTRAL TEMPLE; AND
THEIR CONNEXION WITH ATTENTION TO HUSBANDRY.
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 eat ':-Thus seeking to increase our bright
[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.]
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
gate, 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 reverent 1, Preparing the numerous
(smaller) dishes. The guests and visitors Present the cup all
round. Every form is according to rule; Every smile and word are as
they should be. The spirits quietly come, And respond
[1. The Ku, 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
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.]
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). 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 warning, The filial descendant goes to his
place, 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). All the
servants, and the presiding wives, Remove (the trays and dishes) without
[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
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 Kang Hsuean, 'To heaven.']
(sacrificer's) uncles and cousins All repair to the private feast.
The musicians all go in to perform, And give their soothing aid at the
second blessing. Your  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!'
ODE 6. THE HSIN NAN SHAN.
HUSBANDRY TRACED TO ITS FIRST AUTHOR; DETAILS ABOUT IT, GOING ON
TO THE SUBJECT OF SACRIFICES TO ANCESTORS.
The Preface refers this piece to the reign of king Yu; 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 Ku, a noble or great landholder in the royal
domain; according to others, some one of the kings of Kau. I incline
myself to this latter view. The three pieces,
[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.]
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 Yue . 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 huts, And
[1. There is here a recognition of the work of the great Yue, 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 Kau, and hence the writer
makes mention of it. He does not mean to confine the work of Yue 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 SU of that hero's achievements.
2. In every King, or space of 900 Chinese acres or mau, assigned to
eight families, there were in the Centre 100 mau of 'public fields,'
belonging to the government, and cultivated by the husbandmen in common.
In this space of 100 mau, two mau 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.]
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 Heaven .
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 fat .
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.
ODE 7. THE PHU THIEN.
PICTURES OF HUSBANDRY, AND SACRIFICES CONNECTED WITH IT. HAPPY
UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE PEOPLE AND THEIR SUPERIORS.
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
levied . I take the old
[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.]
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 promise .
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) quarters . 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 Husbandry And pray for sweet
rain, To increase the produce of our millets, And to bless my men and
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
[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 Ti,
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!'
ODE 8. THE TA THIEN.
FURTHER PICTURES OF HUSBANDRY, AND SACRIFICES CONNECTED WITH IT.
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
ploughshares, 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 Husbandry, Lay hold of them, and put them
in the blazing fire!
[1. The ancient Shan Nang, as in the preceding ode.]
The clouds form in dense masses,. And the rain comes down slowly. May it
first rain on our public fields, 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 widow.
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 black, With their preparations of millet:--Thus
offering, thus sacrificing, Thus increasing our bright happiness.
The Seventh Decade, or that of Sang Hu.
ODE 1, STANZA 1. THE SANG HU.
THE KING, ENTERTAINING THE CHIEF AMONG THE FEUDAL PRINCES,
EXPRESSES HIS ADMIRATION OF THEM, AND GOOD WISHES FOR THEM.
They flit about, the greenbeaks, With their
[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 Hu,' because it appeared when the mulberry tree was coming
variegated wings, To be rejoiced in are these princes! May they receive
the blessing of Heaven!
ODE 6, STANZAS 1 AND 2. THE PIN KIH KHU YEN.
AGAINST DRUNKENNESS. DRINKING ACCORDING TO RULE AT ARCHERY
CONTESTS AND THE SEASONAL SACRIFICES, AND DRINKING- TO EXCESS.
There are good grounds for referring the authorship of this piece to
duke Wu of Wei (B.C. 812 to 7 58), who played an important part in the
kingdom, during the affairs which terminated in the death of king Yu,
and the removal of the capital from Hao to Lo. The piece, we may
suppose, is descriptive of things as they were at the court of king Yu.
When the guests first approach the mats , 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 arranged, And they raise
their pledge-cups with order and ease . (Then) the great
[1. This line is to be understood, with Ku Hsi, 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 be returned a cup to the host. After this preliminary ceremony,
the company all drank to one another,--'took up their cups,' as it is
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 cup'.
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 guest  draws the spirits; An
attendant enters again with a cup, And fills it,--the cup of rest .
Thus are performed your seasonal ceremonies.
[1. Each defeated archer was obliged to drink a large cup of spirits as
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
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.]
The Eighth Decade, or that of Po Hwa.
ODE 5, STANZAS 1 AND 2. THE PO HWA.
THE QUEEN OF KING YU COMPLAINS OF BEING DEGRADED AND FORSAKEN.
The fibres from the white-flowered rush Are bound with the white
grass. This man's sending me away makes me dwell solitary.
The light and brilliant clouds Bedew the rush and the grass. The way
of Heaven is hard and difficult;--This man does not conform (to good
[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.]
III. THE MAJOR ODES OF THE KINGDOM.
PIECES AND STANZAS ILLUSTRATING THE RELIGIOUS VIEWS AND PRACTICES OF
THE WRITERS AND THEIR TIMES.
The First Decade, or that of Wan Wang.
ODE 1. THE WAN WANG.
CELEBRATING KING WAN, DEAD AND ALIVE, AS THE FOUNDER OF THE
DYNASTY OF KAU, SHOWING HOW HIS VIRTUES DREW TO HIM THE
FAVOURING REGARD Or HEAVEN OR GOD, AND MADE HIM A BRIGHT PATTERN
TO HIS DESCENDANTS AND THEIR MINISTERS.
The composition of this and the other pieces of this decade is
attributed to the duke of Kau, king Wan's son, and was intended by him
for the benefit of his nephew, the young king Khang. Wan, 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 Wu, and
consolidated by the duke of Kau. 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 Wan is on high. Oh! bright is he in heaven. Although Kau was an old
country, The (favouring) appointment lighted on it recently'.
Illustrious was the House of Kau, And the
[1. The family of Kau, according to its traditions, was very ancient,
but it did not. occupy the territory of Kau, from which it subsequently
took its name, till B.C. 1326; and it was not till the time of Wan (B.C.
1231 to 1135) that the divine purpose concerning its supremacy in the
kingdom was fully manifested.]
appointment of God came at the proper season. King Wan ascends and
descends On the left and the right of God.
Full of earnest activity was king Wan, And his fame is without end. The
gifts (of God) to Kau Extend to the descendants of king Wan, In the
direct line and the collateral branches for a hundred generations.
All the officers of Kau 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) Kau. Numerous is the array of officers, And by them
king Wan enjoys his repose.
Profound was king Wan; Oh! continuous and bright was his feeling of
reverence. Great is the appointment of Heaven! There were the
descendants of (the sovereigns of) Shang,-The descendants of the
sovereigns of Shang Were in number more
[1. According to Ku Hsi, the first and last two lines of this stanza are
to be taken of the spirit of Wan 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 Kau tree.
3. The Shang or Yin dynasty of kings superseded by Kau.]
than hundreds of thousands. But when God gave the command, They became
subject to Kau.
They became subject to Kau, (For) the appointment of Heaven is not
unchangeable. The officers of Yin, admirable and alert, Assist at the
libations in our capital. They assist at those libations, Always
wearing the hatchet-figures on their lower garments and their peculiar
cap. 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 God'. Look to Yin as a beacon i 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
[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 Kau, 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.]
smell. Take your pattern from king Wan, And the myriad regions will
repose confidence in you.
ODE 2. THE TA MING.
HOW THE APPOINTMENT OF HEAVEN OR GOD CAME FROM HIS FATHER TO
KING WAN, AND DESCENDED TO HIS SON, KING WU, WHO OVERTHREW THE
DYNASTY OF SHANG BY HIS VICTORY AT MU; CELEBRATING ALSO THE
MOTHER AND WIFE OF KING WAN.
The illustration of illustrious (virtue) is required below, And the
dread majesty is or, high. 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.
Zan, the second of the princesses of Kih, From (the domain of)
Yin-shang, Came to be married to (the prince of) Kau, And became his
wife in his
[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 Zhan, '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 Zan, and the second daughter of the House
became the wife of Ki of Kau. She is called in the eighth line Thai-zan,
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
capital. Both she and king Ki Were entirely virtuous. (Then) Thai-zan
became pregnant, And gave birth to our king Wan.
This king Wan, 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
Wan). In his early years, It made for him a mate;--On the north of
the Hsia, On the banks of the Wei. When king Wan would marry, There was
the lady in a large state.
In a large state was the lady, Like a fair denizen of heaven. The
ceremonies determined the auspiciousness (of the union) , 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 kin
Wan, In the capital of Kau. The lady-successor was from Hsin, Its eldest
daughter, who came to marry him. She was blessed to give birth to king
Wu, Who was preserved, and helped, and received (also) the. appointment,
[1. Heaven is here represented as arranging for the fulfilment of its
2. The name of the state was Hsin, and it must have been near the Hsia
and the Wei, somewhere in the south-east of the present Shen-hsi.
3. 'The ceremonies' would be various; first of all, divination by means
of the tortoise-shell.]
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 Mu. We rose (to the crisis); 'God is with you,' (said
Shang-fu to the king), 'Have no doubts in your heart.'
The wilderness of Mu spread out extensive; Bright shone the chariots of
sandal; The teams of bays, black-maned and white-bellied, galloped
along; The Grand-Master Shang-fu. Was like an eagle on the wing,
Assisting king Wu, Who at one onset smote the great Shang. That
morning's encounter was followed by a clear, bright (day).
ODE 3. THE MIEN.
SMALL BEGINNINGS AND SUBSEQUENT GROWTH OF THE HOUSE OF KAU IN
KAU. ITS REMOVAL FROM PIN UNDER THAN-FU, WITH ITS FIRST
SETTLEMENT IN KAU, WITH THE PLACE THEN GIVEN TO THE BUILDING OF
THE ANCESTRAL TEMPLE, AND THE ALTAR TO THE SPIRITS OF THE LAND.
CONSOLIDATION OF ITS FORTUNES BY KING WAN.
'The ancient duke Than-fu' was the grandfather of king Wan, and was
canonized by the duke of Kau as 'king Thai.' As mentioned in a note on
p. 316, he was the first of his family to settle in Kau, removing there