〈鄭風〉

Beginning with Confucius, commentators have long disparaged this large set of poems for its “licentiousness” (first for its music and then for its lyrics). That official displeasure might be seen as directly proportional to the power of the poetry, especially in the strong voice it gives to female desire, found in a number of poems and culminating in the last two, “Out in the Bushlands a Creeper Grows” and “The Zhen and Wei” (94, 95). Zheng was a powerful state located southof the Yellow River in present-day western Henan and was an important ally of the Eastern Zhou court.

075〈鄭風・緇衣〉

Legge

How well do the black robes befit you!
When worn out, we will make others for you.
We will go to your court,
And when we return [from it], we will send you a feast!

How good on you are the black robes!
When worn out, we will make others for you.
We will go to your court,
And when we return [from it], we will send you a feast!

How easy sit the black robes on you!
When worn out, we will make others for you.
We will go to your court,
And when we return [from it], we will send you a feast!

Waley

Your Black Coat

How well your black coat fits!
Where it is torn I will turn it for you.
Let us go to where you lodge,
And there I will hand your food to you.

How nice your black coat looks!
Where it is worn I will mend it for you.
Let us go to where you lodge,
And there I will hand your food to you.

How broad your black coat is!
Where it is worn I will alter it for you.
Let us go to where you lodge,
And there I will hand your food to you.

076〈鄭風・將仲子〉

Legge

I pray you, Mr. Zhong,
Do not come leaping into my hamlet;
Do not break my willow trees.
Do I care for them?
But I fear my parents.
You, O Zhong, are to be loved,
But the words of my parents,
Are also to be feared.

I pray you, Mr. Zhong,
Do not come leaping over my wall;
Do not break my mulberry trees.
Do I care for them?
But I fear the words of my brothers.
You, O Zhong, are to be loved,
But the words of my brothers,
Are also to be feared.

I pray you, Mr. Zhong,
Do not come leaping into my garden;
Do not break my sandal trees.
Do I care for them?
But I dread the talk of people.
You, O Zhong, are to be loved,
But the talk of people,
Is also to be feared.

Waley

I Beg You, Zhong Zi

I beg of you, Zhong Zi,
Do not climb into our homestead,
Do not break the willows we have planted.
Not that I mind about the willows,
But I am afraid of my father and mother.
Zhong Zi I dearly love;
But of what my father and mother say
Indeed I am afraid.

I beg of you, Zhong Zi,Do not climb over our wall,
Do not break the mulberry-trees we have planted.
Not that I mind about the mulberry-trees,
But I am afraid of my brothers.
Zhong Zi I dearly love;
But of what my brothers say
Indeed I am afraid.

I beg of you, Zhong Zi,
Do not climb into our garden,
Do not break the hard-wood we have planted.
Not that I mind about the hard-wood,
But I am afraid of what people will say.
Zhong Zi I dearly love;
But of all that people will say
Indeed I am afraid.

The tan that means “sandal-wood” is derived from a Sanskrit word. The tan of the Songs may have been a kind of ash.

Karlgren

1. I pray you, Chung-tsi, do not leap into my hamlet;
do not break our planted k'i willows; (how dare I =) it is not that I dare regret them, but I fear my father and mother;
you, Chung, are worth loving, but the words of father and mother are also worth fearing.

2. I pray you, Chung-tsi, do not leap over my wall; do not break our planted mulberry-trees;
it is not that I dare regret them, but I fear my elder brothers;
you, Chung, are worth loving, but the words of my elder brothers are also worth fearing.

3. I pray you, Chungtsi, do not leap into my garden; do not break our planted t'an trees;
it is not that I dare regret them, but I fear the gossip of people;
you, Chung, are worth loving, but the gossip of people is also worth fearing.

077〈鄭風・叔于田〉

Legge

Shu has gone hunting;
And in the streets there are no inhabitants.
Are there indeed no inhabitants?
[But] they are not like Shu,
Who is truly admirable and kind.

Shu has gone to the grand chase;
And in the streets there are none feasting.
Are there indeed none feasting?
[But] they are not like Shu,
Who is truly admirable and good.

Shu has gone into the country;
And in the streets there are none driving about.
Are there indeed none driving about?
[But] they are not like Shu,
Who is truly admirable and martial.

Waley

Shu Is Away in the Hunting-Fields

Shu is away in the hunting-fields,
There is no one living in our lane.
Of course there are people living in our lane;
But they are not like Shu,
So beautiful, so good.

Shu has gone after game.
No one drinks wine in our lane.
Of course people do drink wine in our lane
But they are not like Shu,
So beautiful, so loved.

Shu has gone to the wilds,
No one drives horses in our lane.
Of course people do drive horses in our lane.
But they are not like Shu,
So beautiful, so brave.

078〈鄭風・大叔于田〉

Legge

Shu has gone hunting,
Mounted in his chariot and four.
The reins are in his grasp like ribbons,
While the two outside horses move [with regular steps], as dancers do.
Shu is at the marshy ground;
The fire flames out all at once,
And with bared arms he seizes a tiger,
And presents it before the duke.
O Shu, try not [such sport] again;
Beware of getting hurt.

Shu has gone hunting,
Mounted in his chariot with four bay horses.
The two insides are two finest possible animals,
And the two outsides follow them regularly as in a flying flock of wild geese.
Shu is at the marshy ground;
The fire blazes up all at once,
A skillful archer is Shu!
A good charioteer also!
Now he gives his horse the reins; now he brings them up;
Now he discharges his arrows; now he follows it.

Shu has gone hunting,
Mounted in his chariot with four grey horses.
His two insides have their heads in a line,
And the two outsides come after like arms.
Shu is at the marsh;
The fire spreads grandly all together.
His horses move slowly;
He shoots but seldom;
Now he lays aside his quiver;
Now he returns his bows to his case.

Waley

Shu in the Hunting-Fields

Shu in the hunting-fields
Driving his team of four,
The reins like ribbons in his hand,
His helpers1 leaping as in the dance!
Shu in the prairie.2
The flames rise crackling on every side;
Bare-armed he braves a tiger
To lay at the Duke’s feet.
Please, Shu, no rashness!
Take care, or it will hurt you.

Shu in the hunting-fields
Driving his team of bays.
The yoke-horses, how high they prance!
Yet the helpers keep line
Like wild-geese winging in the sky.
Shu in the prairie.
Flames leap crackling on every side.
How well he shoots, how cleverly he drives!
Now giving rein, now pulling to a halt
Now letting fly,
Now following up his prey.

Shu in the hunting-fields,
Driving a team of grays.
The two yoke-horses with heads in line,
The two helpers obedient to his hand.
Shu in the prairie,
Huge fires crackling on every side.
His horses slow down,
Shu shoots less often.
Now he lays aside his quiver,
Now he puts his bow in its case.

1. The two outside horses.
2. That has been fired to drive the game into the open.

079〈鄭風・清人〉

Legge

The men of Qing are in Peng;
The chariot with its team in mail ever moves about;
The two spears in it, with their ornaments, rising, one above the other.
So do they roam about the He.

The men of Qing are in Xiao;
The chariot with its team in mail looks martial;
And the two spears in it, with their hooks, rise one above the other.
So do they saunter about by the He.

The men of Qing are in Zhou;
The mailed team of the chariot prance proudly.
[The driver] on the left wheels it about, and [the spearman] on the right brandishes his weapon,
While the general in the middle looks pleased.

Waley

Men of Qing

The men of Qing are in Peng,
Their armored teams very strong.
Two spears, pennon out-topping pennon
Above the river1 they move at ease.

The men of Qing are in Xiao,
Their armored teams very swift.
Two spears, hook topping hook;
Above the river they course at will.

The men of Qing are in Zhou,
Their armored teams move free.
The Left circles2 its banners, the Right raises them,
While the Center shouts “Well done!”

1. The scene of the song is near Kaifeng in Henan, apparently on both banks of the Yellow River. I do not think it is possible to connect it with any definite historical incident, but the traditional date (c. 660 BC) is quite a likely period. There was probably more point in it than meets the eye. As it stands, the song is singularly flat and uninteresting.
2. “To signal with a circular movement of the flag” is the proper meaning of xuan. See Shuo wen.

080〈鄭風・羔裘〉

Legge

His lambs’s fur is glossy,
Truly smooth and beautiful.
That officer,
Rests in his lot and will not change.

His lambs’s fur, with its cuffs of leopard-skin.
Looks grandly martial and strong.
That officer,
In the country will ever hold to the right.

How splendid is his lamb’s fur!
How bright are its three ornaments!
That officer,
Is the ornament of the country.

Waley

Furs of Lamb’s Wool

His furs of lamb’s wool so glossy!
Truly he is steadfast and tough.
That great gentleman
Would give his life1 rather than fail his lord.

His furs of lamb’s wool, facings of leopard’s fur!
He is very martial and strong.
That great gentleman
Is the upholder of right in this land.

His furs of lamb’s wool so splendid,
His three festoons so gay!
That great gentlemanIs the first in all our land.

1. “Give his life.” See T. T. 2126. She ming also means “to disseminate royal edicts,” as, for example, in the inscription on the tripod of Duke Mao (Karlgren, B. 143), but that has no relevance here. The tripod may well be two hundred years earlier than this poem and the context is quite different.

081〈鄭風・遵大路〉

Legge

Along the highway,
I hold you by the cuff.
Do not hate me;
Old intercourse should not be suddenly broken off.

Along the highway,
I hold you by the hand.
Do not think me vile;
Old friendship should not hastily be broken off.

Waley

Along the Highroad1

If along the highroad
I caught hold of your sleeve,
Do not hate me;
Old ways take time to overcome.

If along the highroad
I caught hold of your hand,
Do not be angry with me;
Friendship takes time to overcome.

1. This poem is discussed at length in the Postface. Ed.

082〈鄭風・女曰雞鳴〉

Legge

Says the wife, ‘It is cock-crow;’
Says the husband, ‘It is grey dawn.’
‘Rise, Sir, and look at the night,’
If the morning star be not shining.
Bestir yourself, and move about,
To shoot the wild ducks and geese.

When your arrows and line have found them,
I will dress them fitly for you.
When they are dressed, we will drink [together over them],
And I will hope to grow old with you.
Your lute in your hands,
Will emits its quiet pleasant tones.

When I know those whose acquaintance you wish,
I will give them off the ornaments of my girdle.
When I know those with whom you are cordial,
I will send to them of the ornaments of my girdle.
When I know those whom you love,
I will repay their friendship from the ornaments of my girdle.

Waley

The Lady Says

The lady says: “The cock has crowed”;
The knight says: “Day has not dawned.”
“Rise, then, and look at the night;
The morning star is shining.
You must be out and abroad,
Must shoot the wild-duck and wild-geese.

When you have shot them, you must bring them home
And I will dress them for you,
And when I have dressed them we will drink wine
And I will be yours till we are old.
I will set your zithers before you;
All shall be peaceful and good.

Did I but know those who come to you,
I have girdle-stones of many sorts to give them;
Did I but know those that have followed you,
I have girdle-stones of many sorts as presents for them.
Did I know those that love you,
I have girdle-stones of many sorts to requite them.”

This song and no. 96 could be paralleled by many “albas,” dawn-songs, in European traditional poetry. The word used for “shoot” does not mean shooting with an ordinary bow and arrow but fowling with a short dart attached to a string. Xu Zhong-shu has written an interesting article on the subject.1

1. See Academia Sinica, vol. 4, no. 4.

083〈鄭風・有女同車〉

Legge

There is the lady in the carriage [with him],
With the countenance like the flower of the ephemeral hedge-tree.
As they move about,
The beautiful Ju-gems of her girdle-pendant appear.
That beautiful eldest Jiang,
Is truly admirable and elegant.

There is the young lady walking [with him],
With a countenance like the ephermeral blossoms of the hedge-tree.
As they move about,
The gems of her girdle-pendant tinkle.
Of that beautiful eldest Jiang,
The virtuous fame is not to be forgotten.

Waley

There Was a Girl with Us in Our Carriage

There was a girl with us in our carriage
Whose face was like the mallow-flower.
As we swept along,
Oh, at her belt the bright girdle-gems!
That fair eldest Jiang
Was fair and fine indeed.

There was a girl with us in the same carriage-line
Whose face was like the mallow blossom.
As we swept along,
How those girdle-stones jingled!
That lovely eldest Jiang,
All that was told of her is true.

084〈鄭風・山有扶蘇〉

Legge

On the mountain is the mulberry tree;
In the marshes is the lotus flower.
I do not see Zidu,
But I see this mad fellow.

On the mountain is the lofty pine;
In the marshes is the spreading water-polygonum..
I do not see Zichong,
But I see this artful boy.

Waley

The Nutgrass Still Grows on the Hill

The nutgrass still grows on the hill;
On the low ground the lotus flower.
But I do not see Zi-du;
I only see this madman.

On its hill the tall pine stands;
On the low ground the prince’s-feather.
But I do not see Zi-chong;
I see only a mad boy.

The “madmen” were young men dressed up in black jackets and redskirts who “searched in the houses and drove out pestilences.1 In order to do this they must have been armed, for disease-demons are attacked with weapons, just like any other enemy. It is therefore not surprising that the Zhou Li lists them among various categories of armed men. Their nearest European equivalents are the Cālușari dancers of Romania, who created such a stir in London when they attended the International Folk Dance Festival in 1935. Professor Vuia describes3 the dance of the Cālușari as having originally been “a dance with arms, intended to drive away demons of ill-health.” Closely analogous were the famous “Flower Boys” of Korea, who reached their zenith in the sixth century AD.

The you-long of verse 2 has been identified as Polygonum orientate (“prince’s-feather”).

This is presumably the song with which the people of the housegreeted the exorcists.

1. Commentary on Zuo zhuan chronicle; Duke Min, second year. For the medley garb of these “wild men,” see Guo-yu, the story of Prince Shen-sheng of Jin.
2. Chapter 54.
3. Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, 1935, p. 107, where a note by me on the Korean parallel is also printed.

085〈鄭風・蘀兮〉

Legge

Ye withered leaves! Ye withered leaves!
How the wind is blowing you away!
O ye uncles,
Give us the first note, and we will join in with you.

Ye withered leaves! Ye withered leaves!
How the wind is carrying you away!
O ye uncles,
Give us the first note, and we will complete [the song].

Waley

Fallen Leaves

Fallen leaves, fallen leaves,
The wind, he blows you.
O uncles, O elders,
Set the tune and I will sing with you.

Fallen leaves, fallen leaves,
The wind, he buffets you.
O uncles, O elders,
Set the tune and I will follow you.

086〈鄭風・狡童〉

Legge

That artful boy!
He will not speak with me!
But for the sake of you, Sir,
Shall I make myself unable to eat?

That artful boy!
He will not eat with me!
But for the sake of you, Sir,
Shall I make myself unable to rest?

Waley

Mad Boy

That mad boy1
Will not speak with me.
Yes, all because of you
I leave my rice untouched.

That mad boy
Will not eat with me.
Yes, it is all because of you
That I cannot take my rest.

1. For “mad boys,” see no. 84.

087〈鄭風・褰裳〉

Legge

If you, Sir, think kindly of me,
I will hold up my lower garments, and cross the Zhen.
If you do not think of me,
Is there no other person [to do so]?
You, foolish, foolish fellow!

If you, Sir, think kindly of me,
I will hold up my lower garments, and cross the Wei.
If you do not think of me,
Is there no other gentleman [to do so]?
You, foolish, foolish fellow!

Waley

Gird Your Loins

If you tenderly love me,
Gird your loins and wade across the Zhen;
But if you do not love me—
There are plenty of other men,
Of madcaps maddest, oh!

If you tenderly love me,
Gird your loins and wade across the Wei;
But if you do not love me—
There are plenty of other knights,
Of madcaps maddest, oh!

088〈鄭風・丰〉

Legge

Full and good looking was the gentleman,
Who waited for me in the lane!
I repent that I did not go with him.

A splendid gentleman was he,
Who waited for me in the hall!
I regret that I did not accompany him.

Over my embroidered upper robe, I have put on a [plain] single garment;
Over my embroidered lower robe, I have done the same.
O Sir, O Sir,
Have your carriage ready to take me home with you.

Over my embroidered lower robe, I have put on a [plain] single garment;
Over my embroidered upper robe, I have done the same.
O Sir, O Sir,
Have your carriage ready to take me home with you.

Waley

Handsome

A very handsome gentleman
Waited for me in the lane;
I am sorry I did not go with him.

A very splendid gentleman
Waited for me in the hall;
I am sorry I did not keep company with him.

I am wearing my unlined coat, my coat all of brocade.1
I am wearing my unlined skirt, my skirt all of brocade!
Oh uncles, young and old,
Let me go with him to his home!

I am wearing my unlined skirt, my skirt all of brocade.
And my unlined coat, my coat all of brocade.
Oh uncles, young and old,
Let me go with him to his home!

1. I do not here or elsewhere use these textile terms in a technical sense. Words for needlework and weaving are hopelessly confused in ancient Chinese; as they were also in medieval English.

089〈鄭風・東門之墠〉

Legge

Near the level ground at the east gate,
Is the madder plant on the bank.
The house is near there,
But the man is very far away.

By the chestnut trees at the east gate,
Is a row of houses.
Do I not think of you?
But you do not come to me.

Waley

By the Clearing at the Eastern Gate

HE:
By the clearing at the Eastern Gate
Where madder grows on the bank—
Strange that the house should be so near
Yet the person distant indeed!

SHE:
By the chestnut-trees at the Eastern Gate
Where there is a row of houses.
It is not that I do not love you,
But that you are slow to court me.

090〈鄭風・風雨〉

Legge

Cold are the wind and the rain,
And shrilly crows the cock.
But I have seen my husband,
And should I but feel at rest?

The wind whistles and the rain patters,
While loudly crows the cock.
But I have seen my husband,
And could my ailment but be cured?

Through the wind and rain all looks dark,
And the cock crows without ceasing.
But I have seen my husband,
And how should I not rejoice?

Waley

Wind and Rain

Wind and rain, chill, chill!
But the cock crowed kikeriki.
Now that I have seen my lord,
How can I fail to be at peace?

Wind and rain, oh, the storm!
But the cock crowed kukeriku.
Now that I have seen my lord,
How can I fail to rejoice?

Wind and rain, dark as night,
The cock crowed and would not stop.
Now that I have seen my lord,
How can I any more be sad?

The weather, just how the cock crows, markings on the horses of the bridegroom’s carriage (no. 126)—everything that happens or is seen on a wedding-day is ominous. The notes I ascribe to the cock are not exact transcriptions but merely convenient equivalents.

091〈鄭風・子衿〉

Legge

O you, with the blue collar,
Prolonged is the anxiety of my heart.
Although I do not go [to you],
Why do you not continue your messages [to me]?

O you with the blue [strings to your] girdle-gems,
Long, long do I think of you.
Although I do not go [to you],
Why do you not come [to me]?

How volatile are you and dissipated,
By the look-out tower on the wall!
One day without the sight of you,
Is like three months.

Waley

You with the Collar

Oh, you with the blue collar,
On and on I think of you.
Even though I do not go to you,
You might surely send me news?

Oh, you with the blue collar,
Always and ever I long for you.
Even though I do not go to you,
You might surely sometimes come?

Here by the wall-gate
I pace to and fro.
One day when I do not see you
Is like three months.

092〈鄭風・揚之水〉

Legge

The fretted waters,
Do not carry on their current a bundle of thorns.
Few are our brethren;
There are only I and you.
Do not believe what people say;
They are deceiving you.

The fretted waters,
Do not carry on their current a bundle of firewood.
Few are our brethren;
There are only we two.
Do not believe what people say;
They are not to be trusted.

Waley

Even the Rising Waters

Even the rising waters
Will not carry off thorn-faggots that are well bound.
Brothers while life lasts
Are you and I,
Do not believe what people say;
People are certainly deceiving you.

Even the rising waters
Will not carry off firewood that is well tied.
Brothers while life lasts
Are we two men.
Do not believe what people say;
People are certainly not to be believed.

093〈鄭風・出其東門〉

Legge

I went out at the east gate,
Where the girls were in clouds.
Although they are like clouds,
It is not on them that my thoughts rest.
She in the thin white silk, and the grey coiffure,
She is my joy!

I went out by the tower on the covering wall,
Where the girls were like flowering rushes.
Although they are like flowering rushes,
It is not of them that I think.
She in the thin white silk, and the madder-[dyed coiffure],
It is she that makes me happy!

Waley

Outside the Eastern Gate

Outside the Eastern Gate
Are girls many as the clouds;
But though they are many as clouds
There is none on whom my heart dwells.
White jacket and gray scarf1
Alone could cure my woe.

Beyond the Gate Tower
Are girls lovely as rush-wool;
But though they are lovely as rush-wool
There is none with whom my heart bides.
White jacket and madder skirt
Alone could bring me joy.

1. Denoting a humble lover.

094〈鄭風・野有蔓草〉

Legge

On the moor is the creeping grass,
And how heavily is it loaded with dew!
There was a beautiful man,
Lovely, with clear eyes and fine forehead!
We met together accidentally,
And so my desire was satisfied.

On the moor is the creeping grass,
Heavily covered with dew!
There was a beautiful man,
Lovely, with clear eyes and fine forehead!
We met together accidentally,
And he and I were happy together.

Waley

Out in the Bushlands a Creeper Grows

Out in the bushlands a creeper grows,
The falling dew lies thick upon it.
There was a man so lovely,
Clear brow well rounded.
By chance I came across him,
And he let me have my will.

Out in the bushlands a creeper grows,
The falling dew lies heavy on it.
There was a man so lovely,
Well rounded his clear brow.
By chance I came upon him:
“Oh, Sir, to be with you is good.”

095〈鄭風・溱洧〉

Legge

The Qin and Wei,
Now present their broad sheets of water.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Are carrying flowers of valerian.
A lady says, ‘Have you been to see?’
A gentleman replies, ‘I have been.’
‘But let us go again to see.
Beyond the Wei,
The ground is large and fit for pleasure.’
So the gentlemen and ladies.
Make sport together,
Presenting one another with small peonies.

The Qin and Wei,
Show their deep, clear streams.
Gentlemen and ladies,
Appear in crowds.
A lady says, ‘Have you been to see?’
A gentleman replies, ‘I have been.’
‘But let us go again to see.
Beyond the Wei,
The ground is large and fit for pleasure.’
So the gentlemen and ladies.
Make sport together,
Presenting one another with small peonies.

Waley

The Zhen and Wei

When the Zhen and Wei
Are running in full flood
Is the time for knights and ladies
To fill their arms with scented herbs.1
The lady says, “Have you looked?”
The knight says, “Yes, I have finished looking;
Shall we go and look a little more?
Beyond the Wei
It is very open and pleasant.”
That knight and lady,
Merrily they sport.
Then she gives him a peony.

The Zhen and Wei
Run deep and clear;
That knight and lady,
Their flower-basket is full.
The lady says, “Have you looked?”
The knight says, “Yes, I have finished looking;
Shall we go and look a little more?
Beyond the Wei
It is very open and pleasant.”
That knight and lady,
Merrily they sport.
Then she gives him a peony.

1. Gan 蕑. This is only another way of writing the word lan 蘭 (Archaic, klan), which in later Chinese means the cultivated orchid. In early Chinese it is a general name for sweet-smelling herbs. The variants here and in no. 145 are due to the fact that Han interpreters were not used to seeing lan written as it is written here. Legge’s “valerian” is based on a misunderstanding of a plate in an eighteenth-century Japanese book (Mōshi Himbutsu Zukō, by Oka Gempō, pictures by Tachibana Kunio, 1785). The plate is labeled fujibakama, which means “Chinese agrimony.” The strongly serrated leaves are quite unlike valerian.

The commentators, no doubt rightly, connect this poem with a spring festival at which there was a custom of general courtship and mating. So we must take our knight and lady not as an individual romance, but as typical of the general courtship that went on in the land of Zheng in the third month. The peony has, of course, a great reputation for medicinal and magical powers, both in the West and in China. It shares some of the mythology of the mandrake. It was probably the root rather than the flower that first interested the Chinese; for the second element in the name (Shao-yao) means “medicinal herb,” and it is theroot of the peony that has always been used in medicine. It probably figured in courtship first as a love-philter, and later (as in this poem) merely as a symbol of lasting affection, like our rosemary. A popular etymology makes it mean the “binding herb.”