and female crow ^ ? '
Look at the rugged and stony field ; ā Luxuriantly
rises in it the springing grain. (But) Heaven moves
and shakes me, As if it could not overcome me *.
' By introducing the word * only,' I have followed the view of
the older inierpreters, 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. ATi Hsi takes
a different view of them : ā ' 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.'
^ The calumnies that were abroad were as absurd as the asser-
tion in line i, and yet the king could not, or would not, see through
them and repress them.
^ This reference to the diviners of dreams is in derision of their
* 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 ?
ODE 9- THE MINOR ODES OF THE KINGDOM. 355
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
Ode 9. The Shih yueh Kin Kiko.
THE LAMENTATION OF AN OFFICER OVER THE PRODIGIES CELESTIAL
AND TERRESTRIAL, ESPECIALLY AN ECLIPSE OF THE SUN, THAT
WERE BETOKENING THE RUIN OF KKV. 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-mio. 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, ā 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-fti is the President ; Fan is the Minister
A a 2
356 THE SHIH KING. DECADE iv.
of Instruction; A'ia-po is the (chief) Administrator;
/i'lmg-ylin is the chief Cook ; 3au is the Recorder
of the Interior; Khwei is Master of the Horse;
Yu is Captain of the Guards ; And the beautiful
wife blazes, now in possession of her place ^
This Hwang-fii 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-fQ 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 ^
^ 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, oppres-
sive, 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 iTau. ' 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
gieat and disastrous changes in the kingdom.
^ Hsiang was a district of the royal domain, in the present dis-
trict of Mang, department of Hwai-/^/nng, Ho-nan. It had been
assigned to Hwang-fu, and he was establishing himself there, with-
out any loyal regard to the king. As a noble in the royal domain.
ODE lo. THE MINOR ODES OF THE KINGDOM. 35/
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 ; ā 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
Ode 10, Stanzas 1 and 3. The Yt) wu A'ang.
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 : ā They have suffered for their
guilt. But those who have no crime Are indis-
criminately involved in ruin.
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
358 THE SHIH KING. DECADE V,
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 an-
other ; ā 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 coun-
sellors are very many, But on that account nothing
is accomplished. The speakers fill the court, But
ODE 2. THE MINOR ODES OF THE KINGDOM. 359
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 Hsiao Yuan.
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
drinkj 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 become good.
^ 'What Heaven confers' is, probably, the good human nature,
which by vice, and especially by drunkenness, may be irretrievably
^ A religious act is here referred to, on which we have not suffi-
cient information to be able to throw much light. It was the
practice to spread some finely ground rice on the ground, in con-
nexion with divination, as an offering to the spirits. The poet
represents himself here as using a handful of grain for the pur-
pose, ā probably on account of his poverty.
360 THE SHIH KING. DECADE v.
Ode 3, Stanzas 1 and 3. The Hsiao Pan.
THE ELDEST SON AND HEIR-APPARENT OF KING YU BEWAILS HIS DEGRA-
DATION, APPEALING TO HEAVEN AS TO HIS INNOCENCE, AND COM-
PLAINING 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-/^^iu, 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 ; ā
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 de-
pended 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 ?
^ The sight of the crows, all together, suggests to the prince his
own condition, solitary and driven from court.
"^ 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.
ODE 6. THE MINOR ODES OF THE KINGDOM. 36 1
Ode 4, Stanza 1, The Khiko Yen.
SOME ONE, SUFFERING FROM THE KING THROUGH SLANDER, APPEALS
TO HEAVEN, AND GOES ON TO DWELL ON THE NATURE AND EVIL
This piece has been referred to the time of king Li, b. c. 878
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
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 norths
If the north refused to receive them, I would
throw them into the hands of great (Heaven)
^ ' The north/ i. e. the region where there are the rigours of winter
and the barrenness of the desert.
* 'Great Heaven;' 'Heaven' has to be supplied here, but there
)62 THE SHIH KING.
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 A'au 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
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 A'au. Their going and coming makes my
Ye cold waters, issuing variously from the spring.
Do not soak the firewood I have cut. Sorrowful
I awake and sigh ; ā Alas for us toiled people !
The firewood has been cut ; ā Would that it were
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.
^ That is, ' slight-looking,' unfit for toil ; and yet they are
obliged to make their journey on foot.
ODE 9. THE MINOR ODES OF THE KINGDOM. 363
conveyed home ! Alas for us the toiled people !
Would that we could have rest ^ !
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
^ This stanza describes, directly or by symbol, the exactions
from which the people of the east were suffering.
^ 'The Milky Way' is here called simply the Han, = in the sky
what the Han river is in China.
^ ' 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 circum-
ference 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.'
* ' The Draught Oxen' is the name of some stars in the neck of
^ Liu I (Sung dynasty) says : ' The metal star (Venus) is in the
364 THE SHIH KING. DECADE vi.
is the Rabbit Net of the sky ^ ; ā 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 west.
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 AV/iu. 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
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 Hes-
perus to be two Stars.
^ ' The Rabbit Net ' is the Hyades.
^ 'The Sieve' is the name of one of the twenty- eight constel-
lations of the zodiac, ā part of Sagittarius.
^ 'The Ladle' is the constellation next to 'the Sieve,' ā also part
ODE 5. THE MINOR ODES OF THE KINGDOM. 365
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
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.
Ode 5. The Knt ^hze.
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 Ave might plant our millet and
sacrificial millet ; That our millet might be abun-
dant, 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 ^ : ā Thus seeking to increase our bright
* 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.
66 THE SHIH KING. DECADE VI.
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 bless-
ing : ā 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 ; ā
Some for the roast meat, some for the broiled. Wives
presiding are still and reverent ^, Preparing the
numerous (smaller) dishes. The guests and visitors ^
Present the cup all round ^. Every form is accord-
ing to rule ; Every smile and word are as they
should be. The spirits quietly come, And respond
^ The A'u, 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.
^ ' 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.
^ ' The guests and visitors ' would be nobles and officers of dif-
ferent surnames from the sacrificer, chosen by divination to take
part in the sacrificial service.
* ' Present the cup all round ' describes the ceremonies of drink-
ing, which took place between the guests and visitors, the repre-
sentatives of the dead, and the sacrificer.
ODE 5- THE MINOR ODES OF THE KINGDOM. 367
with great blessings, ā Myriads of years as the
We are very much exhausted, And have per-
formed every ceremony without error. The able
officer of prayer announces (the will of the spirits) \
And goes to the filial descendant to convey it ^ : ā
' 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 care-
ful ; 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 warn-
ing ^, The filial descendant goes to his place ^,
And the able officer of prayer makes his announce-
ment, ' 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 delay. The
^ The officer of prayer had in the first place obtained, or pro-
fessed to have obtained, this answer of the progenitors from their
^ The music now announced that the sacrificial service in the
temple was ended.
^ 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, ā the place appropriate
to him in dismissing his guests.
* Where did they return to ? According to King Hsiian, ' To
368 THE SHIH KING. DECADE VI.
(sacrlficer'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 dis-
charged by you. May your sons and your grand-
sons 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 : ā according to A'u, a noble or great landholder
in the royal domain ; according to others, some one of the kings
of ^au. I incline myself to this latter view. The three pieces,
^ 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.
"^ 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.
^ 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.
ODE 6. THE MINOR ODES OF THE KINGDOM. 369
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