〈邶風〉

Bei was a small principality that, along with Yong, is generally considered to have been subordinate to the larger state of Wei, whichi bed both at a later date. Bei was located in the north-central region of the Chinese plain, occupying part of the territory of former Shang domain, on the border of present-day Hebei andllcnan. This large set, twice the size of most other sets, begins with the first of two “Cypress Boat” poems and includes numerous famous poems, such as “Of Fair Girls” (42)

026〈邶風・柏舟〉

Legge

It floats about, that boat of cypress wood;
Yea, it floats about on the current.
Disturbed am I and sleepless,
As if suffering from a painful wound.
It is not because I have no wine,
And that I might not wander and saunder about.

My mind is not a mirror;
It cannot [equally] receive [all impressions].
I, indeed, have brothers,
But I cannot depend on them,
I meet with their anger.

My mind is not a stone;
It cannot be rolled about.
My mind is not a mat;
It cannot be rolled up.
My deportment has been dignified and good,
With nothing wrong which can be pointed out.

My anxious heart is full of trouble;
I am hated by the herd of mean creatures;
I meet with many distresses;
I receive insults not a few.
Silently I think of my case,
And, starting as from sleep, I beat my breast.

There are the sun and moon,
How is it that the former has become small, and not the latter?
The sorrow cleaves to my heart,
Like an unwashed dress.
Silently I think of my case,
But I cannot spread my wings and fly away.

Waley

This is the song of a lady whose friends tried to marry her against inclinations:

Cypress Boat

Tossed is that cypress boat,
Wave-tossed it floats.
My heart is in turmoil, I cannot sleep.
But secret is my grief.
Wine I have, all things needful
For play, for sport.

My heart is not a mirror,
To reflect what others will.
Brothers too I have;
I cannot be snatched away.
But lo, when I told them of my plight
I found that they were angry with me.

My heart is not a stone;
It cannot be rolled.
My heart is not a mat;
It cannot be folded away.
I have borne myself correctly
In rites more than can be numbered.

My sad heart is consumed, I am harassed
By a host of small men.
I have borne vexations very many,
Received insults not few.
In the still of night I brood upon it;
In the waking hours I rend my breast.

O sun, ah, moon,
Why are you changed and dim?
Sorrow clings to me
Like an unwashed dress.
In the still of night I brood upon it,
Long to take wing and fly away.

Karlgren

1. Drifting is that cypress-wood boat, drifting is its floating*; I am (bright = ) wide awake and do not sleep, as if I had a painful grief; but it is not that I have no wine, to amuse and divert myself.
* So I am drifting helplessly along, without means of steering my way.

2. My heart is not a mirror, you cannot scrutinize it*; true, I have elder and younger brothers, but I cannot (hold on to:) rely on them; when I go and complain, I meet with their anger.
* I do not lay bare my feelings for anybody to scrutinize.

3. My heart is not a stone, you cannot turn it; my heart is not a mat, you cannot roll it*; my dignified demeanour has been perfect, you cannot (count =) measure it.
* I will not be a passively suffering victim, whom anybody can treat as he likes.

4. My grieved heart is pained, I am hated by all the petty ones; I have met with suffering in plenty, I have received insults not a little; in the quietude I brood over it, awake I knock and beat (my breast).

5. Oh sun, oh moon, why are you eclipsed from time to time*? The grief of the heart is like an unwashed dress; in the quietude I brood over it, but I cannot rush up and fly away.
* Why is happiness so inconstant?

027〈邶風・綠衣〉

Legge

Green is the upper robe,
Green with a yellow lining!
The sorrow of my heart,
How can it cease?

Green is the upper robe,
Green the upper, and yellow the lower garment!
The sorrow of my heart,
How can it be forgotten?

[Dyed] green has been the silk;
It was you who did it.
[But] I think of the ancients,
That I may be kept from doing wrong.

Linen, fine or coarse,
Is cold when worn in the wind.
I think of the ancients,
And find what is in my heart.

Waley

The Green Coat

THE LADY:

Heigh, the green coat,
The green coat, yellow lined!
The sorrow of my heart,
Will it ever cease?

Heigh, the green coat,
Green coat and yellow skirt!
The sorrow of my heart,
Will it ever end?

THE MAN:

Heigh, the green threads!
It was you who sewed them.
I’ll be true to my old love,
If only she’ll forgive me.

Broad-stitch and openwork1
Are cold when the wind comes.
I’ll be true to my old love
Who truly holds my heart.

1. Symbol of the new mistress. Literally “open-meshed fiber-cloth and wide-meshed fiber-cloth.” The second word is etymologically the same as qi, “a fissure,” “a crack” (Karlgren, 341).

The specific designation of speakers here and in later poems does not appear in the original; Waley is extrapolating from the apparent dialogue; see his note to no. 100. Ed.

028〈邶風・燕燕〉

Legge

The swallows go flying about,
With their wings unevenly displayed.
The lady was returning [to her native state],
And I escorted her far into the country.
I looked till I could no longer see her,
And my tears fell down like rain.

The swallows go flying about,
Now up, now down.
The lady was returning [to her native state],
And far did I accompany her.
I looked till I could no longer see her,
And long I stood and wept.

The swallows go flying about;
From below, from above, comes their twittering.
The lady was returning [to her native state],
And far did I escort her to the south.
I looked till I could no longer see her,
And great was the grief of my heart.

Lovingly confiding was lady Zhong;
Truly deep was her feeling.
Both gentle was she and docile,
Virtuously careful of her person.
In thinking of our deceased lord,
She stimulated worthless me.

Waley

Swallow, Swallow

Swallow, swallow on your flight,
Wing high, wing low.
Our lady that goes home,
Far we escort beyond the fields.
Gaze after her, cannot see her,
And our tears flow like rain.

Swallow, swallow on your flight,
Now up, now down.
Our lady that goes home,
Far we go with her.
Gaze after her, cannot see her,
And stand here weeping.

Swallow, swallow on your flight,
Call high, call low.
Our lady that goes home,
Far we lead toward the south.
Gaze after her, cannot see her,
Sad are our hearts indeed!

A lady Tai-ren is she,
Her heart so faithful and true!
So gentle, so docile,
Clean and careful of her person,
Mindful of her late lord,
Making provision for his helpless ones.

This, as has always been recognized, is a song about a lady who, after the death of her husband, returns to her father’s house. In the last verse she is compared to Tai-ren 太任, the mother of King Wen (the founder of the Zhou dynasty, traditionally supposed to have died in 1122 BC), a model of womanly virtues.

029〈邶風・日月〉

Legge

O sun; O moon,
Which enlightens this lower earth!
Here is the man,
Who treats me not according to the ancient rule.
How can he get his mind settled?
Would he then not regard me?

O sun; O moon,
Which overshadow this lower earth!
Here is this man,
Who will not be friendly with me.
How can he get his mind settled?
Would he then not respond to me?

O sun; O moon,
Which come forth from the east!
Here is the man,
With virtuous words, but really not good.
How can he get his mind settled?
Would he then allow me to be forgotten?

O sun; o moon,
From the east which come forth!
O father, O mother,
There is no sequel to your nourishing of me.
How can he get his mind settled?
Would he then respond to me, contrary to all reason?

Waley

Sun and Moon

O sun, ah, moon
That shine upon the earth below,
A man like this
Will not stand firm to the end.
How can such a one be true?
Better if he had never noticed me.

O sun, ah, moon
That cover the earth below,
A man like this
Will not deal kindly to the end.
How can such a one be true?
Better if he had not requited me.

O sun, ah, moon
That rise out of the east,
A man like this,
Of whom no good word is said,
How can he be true?
I wish I could forget him.

O sun, ah, moon
That from the east do rise,
Heigh, father! Ho, mother,
You have nurtured me to no good end.
How should he be true?
He requited me, but did not follow up.1

1. Our love-meeting.

030〈邶風・終風〉

Legge

The wind blows and is fierce,
He looks at me and smiles,
With scornful words and dissolute, the smile of pride.
To the center of my heart I am grieved.

The wind blows, with clouds of dust.
Kindly he seems to be willing to come to me;
[But] he neither goes nor comes.
Long, long, do I think of him.

The wind blew, and the sky was cloudy;
Before a day elapses, it is cloudy again.
I awake, and cannot sleep;
I think of him, and gasp.

All cloudy is the darkness,
And the thunder keeps muttering.
I awake and cannot sleep;
I think of him, and my breast is full of pain.

Waley

Wild and Windy

Wild and windy was the day;
You looked at me and laughed,
But the jest was cruel, and the laughter mocking.
My heart within is sore.

There was a great sandstorm that day;
Kindly you made as though to come,
Yet neither came nor went away.
Long, long my thoughts.

A great wind and darkness;
Day after day it is dark.
I lie awake, cannot sleep,
And gasp with longing.

Dreary, dreary the gloom;
The thunder growls.
I lie awake, cannot sleep,
And am destroyed with longing.

031〈邶風・擊鼓〉

Legge

Hear the roll of our drums!
See how we leap about, using our weapons!
Those do the fieldwork in the State, or fortify Cao,
While we alone march to the south.

We followed Sun Zizhong,
Peace having been made with Chen and Song;
[But] he did not lead us back,
And our sorrowful hearts are very sad.

Here we stay, here we stop,
Here we lose our horses.
And we seek for them,
Among the trees of the forest.

For life or for death, however separated,
To our wives we pledged our word.
We held their hands;
We were to grow old together with them.

Alas for our separation!
We have no prospect of life.
Alas for our stipulation!
We cannot make it good.

Waley

They Beat Their Drums

They beat their drums with a loud noise,
Leaping and prancing weapon in hand,
Building earth-works at the capital or fortifying Cao.
We1 alone march to the south.

We were led by Sun Zi-zhong
To subdue Chen and Song.
He does not bring us home;
My heart is sad within.

Here we stop, here we stay,
Here we lose horses.
And here find them again,
Down among the woods.

“For good or ill, in death as in life;
This is the oath I swear with you.
I take your hand
As token that I will grow old along with you.”

Alas for our bond!
It has not lasted even for our lifetime.
Alas for our troth!
You did not trust me.

1. The people of Wei, whose capital at the probable date of this poem was north of the Yellow River; Chen and Song lay to the south of the river.

The last verse but one is the wife’s marriage-vow. This song, like no. 156, is about a soldier who comes home only to find that his wife has given him up for dead and married again.

Karlgren

(The husband says:)
l. Tang (sounds) the drum, they jump and bounce and handle their weapons;
they make earthen ramparts round the capital city and they wall Cao, but we alone march south.

2. We follow Sun Zizhong, to pacify Chen and Song;
he does not go home with us, our grieved hearts are agitated.

3. And then we settle down, and then we remain, and then we lose our horses;
we go in search of them, down in the forests.*
* We are utterly lost in far-off countries, ordered to stop there in garrison,
and losing our horses, thus without means of returning home.

(The wife says:)
4. In death and life (we are) separated and far apart; with you I made an agreement;
I grasped your hand, together with you I was to grow old.

5. Oh, how far away, you do not (keep me alive =) support me;
oh, how far apart, you do not (continue with me =) go on living with me.

032〈邶風・凱風〉

Legge

The genial wind from the south
Blows on the heart of that jujube tree,
Till that heart looks tender and beautiful.
What toil and pain did our mother endure!

The genial wind from the south
Blows on the branches of that jujube tree,
Our mother is wise and good;
But among us there is none good.

There is the cool spring
Below [the city of] Jun.
We are seven sons,
And our mother is full of pain and suffering.

The beautiful yellow birds
Give forth their pleasant notes.
We are seven sons,
And cannot compose our mother’s heart.

Waley

A Gentle Wind

When a gentle wind from the south
Blows to the heart of those thorn-bushes
The heart of the thorn-bushes is freshened;
But our mother had only grief and care.

A gentle wind from the south
Blows on that brushwood of the thorn-tree.
Our mother was wise and kind;
But among us is no good man.

Yonder is a cold spring
Under the burgh of Xun.
There were sons, seven men;
Yet their mother had only grief and care.

Pretty is that yellow oriole
And pleasant its tune.
There were sons, seven men,
Yet none could soothe his mother’s heart.

Xun was a place in Northern Henan. This poem reads to me like a song taken from or connected with a folk-story. The commentators explain it as “a eulogy on filial sons,” an interpretation which they can only justify by very tortuous means. The bad sons are contrasted with the pretty and innocent bird.

033〈邶風・雄雉〉

Legge

The male pheasant flies away,
Lazily moving his wings.
The man of my heart!
He has brought on us this separation.

The pheasant has flown away,
But from below, from above, comes his voice.
Ah! the princely man!
He afflicts my heart.

Look at that sun and moon!
Long, long do I think.
The way is distant;
How can he come to me?

All ye princely men,
Know ye not his virtuous conduct?
He hates none; he covets nothing;
What does he which is not good?

Waley

Cock-Pheasant

SHE:

That cock-pheasant in its flight
Flaps feebly with its wings;
By this passion of mine
What have I brought myself but misery?
That cock-pheasant in its flight
Cries low, cries high;
Ah, my lord, truly
You have broken my heart.

HE:

Look up at the sun, the moon.
Not less enduring is my love.
But the way is long;
How could I possibly come?

Oh, all you gentlemen,1
You give me no credit for my good deeds.
I harmed none, was foe to none,
I did nothing that was not right.

1. Who are judging this case.

034〈邶風・匏有苦葉〉

Legge

The gourd has [still] its bitter leaves,
And the crossing at the ford is deep.
If deep, I will go through with my clothes on;
If shallow, I will do so, holding them up.

The ford is full to overflowing;
There is the note of the female pheasant.
The full ford will not wet the axle of my carriage;
It is the pheasant calling for her mate.

The wild goose, with its harmonious notes,
At sunrise, with the earliest dawn,
By the gentleman, who wishes to bring home his bride,
[Is presented] before the ice is melted.

The boatman keeps beckoning;
And others cross with him, but I do not.
Others cross with him, but I do not;
I am waiting for my friend.

Waley

The Gourd Has Bitter Leaves

HE:
The gourd has bitter leaves;
The ford is deep to wade.
SHE:
If a ford is deep, there are stepping-stones;
If it is shallow, you can tuck up your skirts.

HE:
The ford is in full flood,
And baleful is the pheasant’s cry.
SHE:
The ford is not deep enough to wet your axles;
The pheasant cried to find her mate.

On one note the wild-geese cry,
A cloudless dawn begins to break.
A knight that brings home his bride
Must do so before the ice melts.

The boatman beckons and beckons.
Others cross, not I;
Others cross, not I.
“I am waiting for my friend.”1

1. She says this to the boatman. She uses the unusual ang for “I” (first person singular) because she is addressing the boatman, a social inferior. Cf. the use of ang by the emperor when addressing subjects.

035〈邶風・谷風〉

Legge

Gently blows the east wind,
With cloudy skies and with rain.
[Husband and wife] should strive to be of the same mind,
And not let angry feelings arise.
When we gather the mustard plant and earth melons,
We do not reject them because of their roots.
While I do nothing contrary to my good name,
I should live with you till our death.

I go along the road slowly, slowly,
In my inmost heart reluctant.
Not far, only a little way,
Did he accompany me to the threshold.
Who says that the sowthistle is bitter?
It is as sweet as the shepherd’s purse.
You feast with your new wife,
[Loving] as brothers.

The muddiness of the Jing appears from the Wei,
But its bottom may be seen about the islets.
You feast with your new wife,
And think me not worth being with
Do not approach my dam,
Do not move my basket.
My person is rejected;
What avails it to care for what may come after?

Where the water was deep,
I crossed it by a raft or a boat.
Where it was shallow,
I dived or swam across it.
Whether we had plenty or not,
I exerted myself to be getting.
When among others there was a death,
I crawled on my knees to help them.

You cannot cherish me,
And you even count me as an enemy.
You disdain my virtues,
A pedlar’s wares which do not sell.
Formerly, I was afraid our means might be exhausted,
And I might come with you to destitution.
Now, when your means are abundant,
You compare me to poison.

My fine collection of vegetables,
Is but a provision against the winter.
Feasting with your new wife,
You think of me as a provision [only] against your poverty.
Cavalierly and angrily you treat me;
You give me only pain.
You do not think of the former days,
And are only angry with me.

Waley

Valley Wind

Zip, zip the valley wind,
Bringing darkness, bringing rain.
“Strive to be of one mind;
Let there be no anger between you.”
He who plucks greens, plucks cabbage
Does not judge by the lower parts.
In my reputation there is no flaw,
I am yours till death.

Slowly I take the road,
Reluctant at heart.
Not far, no, near;
See, you escort me only to the gateway.1
Who says that sow-thistle is bitter?
It is sweeter than shepherd’s-purse.
You feast your new marriage-kin,
As though they were older brothers, were younger brothers.

“It is the Wei that makes the Jing look dirty;
Very clear are its shoals.”2
You feast your new relations,
And think me no fit company.
“Do not break my dam,
Do not open my fish-traps.
Though for my person you have no regard,
At least pity my brood.”3

Where the water was deep
I rafted it, boated it;
Where the water was shallow
I swam it, floated it.
Whether a thing was to be had or no
I strove always to find it.
When any of your people were in trouble
I went on my knees to help them.

Why do you not cherish me,
But rather treat me as an enemy?
You have spoilt my value;
What is used, no merchant will buy.
Once in times of peril, of extremity
With you I shared all troubles.
But now that you are well-nurtured, well-fed,
You treat me as though I were a poison.

I had laid by a good store,
Enough to provide against the winter;
You feast your new kin,
And that provision is eaten up.
Then you were violent, were enraged,
And it gave me great pain.
You do not think of the past;
It is only anger that is left.

1. He hustles her off the premises without courtesy.
2. It is only in comparison with the new wife that I seem shabby. These lines are no doubt a proverb; the poem comes from Henan and not from Shaanxi. The Jing flows into the Wei to the east of the old Zhou capital in Shaanxi.
3. These lines, several times repeated in the Songs, must be a quotation.

036〈邶風・式微〉

Legge

Reduced! Reduced!
Why not return?
If it were not for your sake, O prince,
How should we be thus exposed to the dew?

Reduced! Reduced!
Why not return?
If it were not for your person, O prince,
How should we be here in the mire?

Waley

How Few

How few of us are left, how few!
Why do we not go back?
Were it not for our prince and his concerns,
What should we be doing here in the dew?

How few of us are left, how few!
Why do we not go back?
Were it not for our prince’s own concerns,
What should we be doing here in the mud?

037〈邶風・旄丘〉

Legge

The dolichos on that high and sloping mound;
How wide apart are [now] its joints!
O ye uncles,
Why have ye delayed these many days?

Why do they rest without stirring?
It must be they expect allies.
Why do they prolong the time?
There must be a reason for their conduct.

Our fox-furs are frayed and worn.
Came our carriages not eastwards?
O ye uncles,
You do not sympathize with us.

Fragments, and a remnant,
Children of dispersion [are we]!
O ye uncles,
Notwithstanding your full robes, your ears are stopped.

Waley

High Mound

The cloth-plant on that high mound,
How its joints stretch on and on!
O my uncles, O my elders,
Why so many days?

Why are you tarrying?
There must be a reason.
Why does it take so long?
There must be a cause.

Our fox-furs are messed and worn;
There is not a wagon that we have not brought to the east.
O uncles, O elders,
You do not share our toils with us.

Pretty little creatures
Were the children of the owl;1
O uncles and elders
With your ear-plugs2 so grand!

1. But grow up baleful and hideous; so, too, the uncles and elders fail to come upto expectation.
2. For ear-plugs, see no. 98. There is the suggestion that they stop up their earsand do not listen to our appeal.

038〈邶風・簡兮〉

Legge

Easy and indifferent! easy and indifferent!
I am ready to perform in all dances,
Then when the sun is in the meridian,
There in that conspicious place.

With my large figure,
I dance in the ducal courtyard.
I am strong [also] as a tiger;
The reins are in my grasp like ribbons.

In my left hand I grasp a flute;
In my right I hold a pheasant’s feather.
I am red as if I were rouged;
The duke gives me a cup [of spirits].

The hazel grows on the hills,
And the liquorice in the marshes.
Of whom are my thoughts?
Of the fine men of the west.
O those fine men!
Those men of the west!

Waley

So Grand

So grand, so tall
He is just going to do the Wan dance;1
Yes, just at noon of day,
In front of the palace, on a high place,
A big man, so warlike,
In the duke’s yard he dances it.

He is strong as a tiger,
He holds chariot reins as though they were ribbons.
Now in his left hand he holds the flute,
In his right, the pheasant-plumes;
Red is he, as though smeared with ochre.
The duke hands him a goblet.

“On the hills grows a hazel-tree;
On the low ground the licorice.
Of whom do I think?
Of a fair lady from the West.
That fair lady
Is a lady from the West.”2

1. Despite all that commentators have written on the subject, I do not think that we really know what “Wan” means. (In his editions, Waley includes an essay on the Wan dance in the Appendix. Ed.)
2. This is the song that accompanies the dance.

Karlgren

1. Oh great, great! They are just going to perform the great dance; when the sun is just at the zenith, he is at the uppermost place at the front.

2. The tall man is very great, he performs the great dance in the prince's courtyard; he has strength like a tiger, he holds (chariot) reins as if they were silk strings.

3. The left hand holds the flute the right hand grasps the pheasant plume; he is shining as if smeared with red, the prince gives orders to present him with a jue cup.

4. On the mountain there is the hazel, in the swamp there is the ling plant; to whom go my thoughts? To the handsome man of the Western region; that handsome man, he is a man from the Western region.

039〈邶風・泉水〉

Legge

How the water bubbles up from that spring,
And flows away to the Qi!
My heart is in Wei;
There is not a day I do not think of it.
Admirable are those, my cousins;
I will take counsel with them.

When I came forth, I lodged in Ji,
And we drank the cup of convoy at Ni.
When a young lady goes [to be married],
She leaves her parents and brothers;
[But] I would ask for my aunts,
And then for my elder sister.

I will go forth and lodge in Gan,
And we drink the cup of convoy at Yan.
I will grease the axle and fix the pin,
And the returning chariot will proceed.
Quickly shall we arrive in Wei;
But would not this be wrong?

I think of the Feiquan,
I am ever sighing about it.
I think of Xu and Cao,
Long, long, my heart dwells with them.
Let me drive forth and travel there,
To dissipate my sorrow.

Waley

Fountain Waters

High spurt the waters of that fountain,
Yet it flows back into the Qi.
My love is in Wei,
No day but I think of him.
Dear are my many cousins;1
It would be well to take counsel with them:

“On the journey you will lodge at Ji,2
You will drink the cup of parting at Ni,
A girl that goes to be married,
Leaving parents, leaving brothers.”
I will ask all my aunts
And next, my elder sister:

“On the journey you will lodge at Gan;
You will drink the cup of parting at Yan,
Grease wheels, look to axle-caps,
And the returning carriages will go their way:
A quick journey to the Court of Wei,
And may you get there safe and sound.”

I think of the Forked Fountain,
Long now I sigh for it.
I think of Mei and Cao,
And how my heart yearns!
Come, yoke the horses, let us drive away,
That I may be rid at last of my pain.

1. Literally, “the various female members of the Ji clan,” the speaker’s clan. The scene of the poem is northern Henan.
2. This is their answer; so, too, in verse 3.

This poem has generally been supposed to deal with the visit of a wife to her parents’ house; but this does not fit the wording. I take it that the lady had fallen in love with her future husband at the Wei capital, in northern Henan, and had afterward gone to live farther north. The only identifiable place name is Mei, which was close to the capital. Cao must also have been near by. It cannot be the Cao on the far side of the Yellow River, which became the Wei capital after c. 600 BC.

040〈邶風・北門〉

Legge

I go out at the north gate,
With my heart full of sorrow.
Straitened am I and poor,
And no one takes knowledge of my distress.
So it is!
Heaven has done it;
What then shall I say?

The king’s business comes on me,
And the affairs of our government in increasing measure.
When I come home from abroad,
The members of my family all emulously reproach me.
So it is!
Heaven has done it;
What then shall I say?

The king’s business is thrown on me,
And the affairs of our government are left to me more and more.
When I come home from abroad,
The members of my family all emulously thrust at me.
So it is!
Heaven has done it;
What then shall I say?

Waley

Northern Gate

I go out at the Northern Gate;
Deep is my grief.
I am utterly poverty-stricken and destitute;
Yet no one heeds my misfortunes.
Well, all is over now.
No doubt it was Heaven’s doing,
So what’s the good of talking about it?

The king’s business came my way;
Government business of every sort was put upon me.
When I came in from outside
The people of the house all turned on me and scolded me.
Well, it’s over now.
No doubt it was Heaven’s doing,
So what’s the good of talking about it?

The king’s business was all piled upon me;
Government business of every sort was laid upon me.
When I came in from outside
The people of the house all turned upon me and abused me.
Well, it’s over now.
No doubt it was Heaven’s doing,
So what’s the good of talking about it?

041〈邶風・北風〉

Legge

Cold blows the north wind;
Thick falls the snow.
Ye who love and regard me,
Let us join hands and go together.
Is it a time for delay?
The urgency is extreme!

The north wind whistles;
The snow falls and drifts about.
Ye who love and regard me,
Let us join hands, and go away for ever.
Is it a time for delay?
The urgency is extreme!

Nothing red is seen but foxes,
Nothing black but crows.
Ye who love and regard me,
Let us join hands, and go together in our carriages.
Is it a time for delay?
The urgency is extreme!

Waley

Northern Wind

Cold blows the northern wind,
Thick falls the snow.
Be kind to me, love me,
Take my hand and go with me.
Yet she lingers, yet she havers!
There is no time to lose.

The north wind whistles,
Whirls the falling snow.
Be kind to me, love me,
Take my hand and go home with me.
Yet she lingers, yet she havers!
There is no time to lose.

Nothing is redder than the fox,
Nothing blacker than the crow.1
Be kind to me, love me,
Take my hand and ride with me.
Yet she lingers, yet she havers!
There is no time to lose.

1. And no one truer than I.

042〈邶風・靜女〉

Legge

How lovely is the retiring girl!
She was to await me at a corner of the wall.
Loving and not seeing her,
I scratch my head, and am in perplexity.

How handsome is the retiring girl!
She presented to me a red tube.
Bright is the red tube;
I delight in the beauty of the girl.

From the pasture lands she gave a shoet of the white grass,
Truly elegant and rare.
It is not you, O grass, that are elegant;
You are the gift of an elegant girl.

Waley

Of Fair Girls

Of fair girls the loveliest
Was to meet me at the corner of the Wall.
But she hides and will not show herself;
I scratch my head, pace up and down.

Of fair girls the prettiest
Gave me a red flute.
The flush of that red flute
Is pleasure at the girl’s beauty.

She has been in the pastures and brought for me rush-wool,
Very beautiful and rare.
It is not you that are beautiful;
But you were given by a lovely girl.

043〈邶風・新臺〉

Legge

Fresh and bright is the New Tower,
On the waters of the He, wide and deep.
A pleasant, genial mate she sought,
[And has got this] vicious bloated mass!

Lofty is the New Tower,
On the waters of the He, flowing still.
A pleasant, genial mate she sought,
[And has got this] vicious bloated mass!

It was a fish net that was set,
And a goose has fallen into it.
A pleasant, genial mate she sought,
And she has got this hunchback.

Waley

The New Terrace

Bright shines the new terrace;
But the waters of the river are miry.
A lovely mate she sought;
Clasped in her hand a toad most vile.

Clean glitters the new terrace;
But the waters of the river are muddy.
A lovely mate she sought;
Clasped in her hand a toad most foul.

Fish nets we spread;
A wild goose got tangled in them.
A lovely mate she sought;
But got this paddock.

This song may refer to a story about a bridegroom who was changedi nto a toad, which is, of course, a very widely spread type of folk-story, common in Asia as well as in Europe. The scene of the song is Northern Henan. “River” does not necessarily mean the Yellow River.

044〈邶風・二子乘舟〉

Legge

The two youths got into their boats,
Whose shadows floated about [on the water].
I think longingly of them,
And my heart is tossed about in uncertainty.

The two youths got into their boats,
Which floated away [on the stream].
I think longingly of them,
Did they not come to harm?

Waley

Off in a Boat

The two of you1 went off in a boat,
Floating, floating far away.
Longingly I think of you;
My heart within is sore.

The two of you went off in a boat,
Floating, floating you sped away.
Longingly I think of you.
Oh may you come to no harm!

1. We can only construe er zi as “two sirs”; but I suspect that it is a corruption of a single name.