〈唐風〉

“Tang” is an old designation for what would become the very powerful state of Jin in the north-central part of the Zhou feudal area; the “Airs of Tang,” along with the preceding set, are thus associated with Jin. Here and in many other poems in the collection, beauty (often of a loved one) is depicted with sartorial images rather than with direct reference to the body—see, for example, “Your Lamb’sWool” (no. 120).

114〈唐風・蟋蟀〉

Legge

The cricket is in the hall,
And the year is drawing to a close.
If we do not enjoy ourselves now,
The days and months will be leaving us.
But let us not go to great excess;
Let us first think of the duties of our position;
Let us not be wild in our love of enjoyment.
The good man is anxiously thoughtful.

The cricket is in the hall,
And the year is passing away.
If we do not enjoy ourselves now,
The days and months will have gone.
But let us not go to great excess;
Let us first send our thoughts beyond the present;
Let us not be wild in our love of enjoyment.
The good man is ever diligent.

The cricket is in the hall,
And our carts stand unemployed.
If we do not enjoy ourselves now,
The days and months will have gone by.
But let us not go to an excess;
Let us first think of the griefs that may arise;
Let us not be wild in our love of enjoyment.
The good man is quiet and serene.

Waley

Cricket

THE FEASTERS:
The cricket is in the hall,
The year is drawing to a close.
If we do not enjoy ourselves now,
The days and months will have slipped by.

THE MONITOR:
Do not be so riotous
As to forget your homes.
Amuse yourselves, but no wildness!
Good men are always on their guard.

THE FEASTERS:
The cricket is in the hall,
The year draws to its end.
If we do not enjoy ourselves now,
The days and months will have gone their way.

THE MONITOR:
Do not be so riotous
As to forget the world beyond.
Amuse yourselves, but no wildness!
Good men are always on the watch.

THE FEASTERS:
The cricket is in the hall,
Our field-wagons are at rest.
If we do not enjoy ourselves now,
The days and months will have fled away.

THE MONITOR:
Do not be so riotous
As to forget all cares.
Amuse yourselves, but no wildness!
Good men are always demure.

115〈唐風・山有樞〉

Legge

On the mountains are the thorny elms,
In the low, wet grounds are the white elms.
You have suits of robes,
But you will not wear them;
You have carriages and horses,
But you will not drive them.
You will drop off in death,
And another person will enjoy them.

On the mountains is the Kao,
In the low wet grounds is the Niu.
You have courtyards and inner rooms,
But you will not have them sprinkled or swept;
You have drums and bells,
But you will not have them beat or struck,
You will drop off in death,
And another person will possess them.

On the mountains are the varnish trees,
In the low wet grounds are the chestnuts.
You have spirits and viands;
Why not daily play your lute?
Both to give a zest to your joy,
And to prolong the day?
You will drop off in death,
And another person will enter your chamber.

Waley

On the Mountain Is the Thorn-Elm

On the mountain is the thorn-elm;
On the low ground the white elm-tree.
You have long robes,
But do not sweep or trail them.
You have carriages and horses,
But do not gallop or race them.
When you are dead
Someone else will enjoy them.

On the mountain is the cedrela;
On the low ground the privet.
You have courtyard and house,
But you do not sprinkle or sweep them.
You have bells and drums,
But you do not play on them, beat them.
When you are dead
Someone else will treasure them.

On the mountain is the varnish-tree;
On the low ground the chestnut.
You have wine and meat;
Why do you not daily play your zither,
And perhaps once in a way be merry,
Once in a way sit up late?
When you are dead
Someone else will enter into your house.

116〈唐風・揚之水〉

Legge

Amidst the fretted waters,
The white rocks stand up grandly.
Bringing a robe of white silk, with a vermillion collar,
We will follow you to Wo.
When we have seen the princely lord,
Shall we not rejoice?

Amidst the fretted waters,
The white rocks stand glistening.
Bringing a robe of white silk, with a vermillion collar, and embroidered,
We will follow you to Hu.
When we have seen the princely lord,
What sorrow will remain to us?

Amidst the fretted waters,
The white rocks clearly show.
We have heard your orders,
And will not dare to inform any one of them.

Waley

Spray Rises from Those Waters

SHE:
Spray rises from those waters;
The white rocks are rinsed.
White coat with red lappet,
I followed you to Wo;
And now that I have seen my lord,
Happy am I indeed.

Spray rises from those waters;
The white rocks are washed clean.
White coat with red stitching,
I followed you to Hu;
And now that I have seen my lord,
How can I be sad?

HE:
Spray rises from those waters;
The white rocks are dabbled.
I hear that you are pledged;
I dare not talk to your people.

The places mentioned are all in south-central Shanxi. In the first two verses the white rocks are symbols of the man’s fresh, clean (sauber,as the Germans say) appearance. In the third verse they symbolize his tears shed because he knows that the lady has been ming, biddenby her parents to marry someone else, and that it is hopeless for him to gao, talk to her parents, ask for her hand.

117〈唐風・椒聊〉

Legge

The clusters of the pepper plant,
Large and luxuriant, would fill a pint.
That hero there
Is large and peerless.
O the pepper plant!
How its shoots extend!

The clusters of the pepper plant,
Large and luxuriant, would fill both your hands.
That hero there
Is large and generous.
O the pepper plant!
How its shoots extend!

Waley

Pepper-Plant

The seeds of the pepper-plant1
Overflowed my pint-measure.
That man of mine,
None so broad and tall!
Oh, the pepper-plant,
How wide its branches spread!

The seeds of the pepper-plant
Overflowed my hands as well.
That man of mine
Big, tall, and strong!
Oh, the pepper-plant,
How wide its branches spread!

1. The fine stature of the lover is compared to the luxuriance of the pepper-plant, which at the same time symbolizes the heat of his passion.

118〈唐風・綢繆〉

Legge

Round and round the firewood is bound;
And the Three Stars appear in the sky.
This evening is what evening,
That I see this good man?
O me! O me!
That I should get a good man like this!

Round and round the grass is bound;
And the Three Stars are seen from the corner.
This evening is what evening,
That we have this unexpected meeting?
Happy pair! Happy pair!
That we should have this unexpected meeting!

Round and round the thorns are bound;
And the Three Stars are seen from the door.
This evening is what evening,
That I see this beauty?
O me! O me!
That I should see a beauty like this!

Waley

Fast Bundled

Fast bundled is the firewood;
The Three Stars1 have risen.
Is it to-night or which night
That I see my Good Man?
Oh, masters, my masters,2
What will this Good Man be like?

Fast bundled is the hay;
The Three Stars are at the corner.3
Is it to-night or which night
That shall see this meeting?
Oh, masters, my masters,
What will that meeting be like?

Fast bundled is the wild-thorn;
The Three Stars are at the door.
Is it to-night or which night
That I see that lovely one?
Oh, masters, my masters,
What will that lovely one be like?

1. The belt of Orion.
2. May merely be a meaningless exclamation.
3. Of the house, as seen from inside.

119〈唐風・杕杜〉

Legge

There is a solitary russet pear tree,
[But] its leaves are luxuriant.
Alone I walk unbefriended;
Is it because there are no other people?
But none are like the sons of one’s father.
O ye travellers,
Why do ye not sympathize with me?
Without brothers as I am,
Why do ye not help me?

There is a solitary russet pear tree,
[But] its leaves are abundant.
Alone I walk uncared for;
Is it that there are not other people?
But none are like those of one’s own surname.
O ye travellers,
Why do ye not sympathize with me?
Without brothers as I am,
Why do ye not help me?

Waley

Tall Pear-Tree

Tall stands that pear-tree;1
Its leaves are fresh and fair.
But alone I walk, in utter solitude.
True indeed, there are other men;
But they are not like children of one’s own father.
Heigh, you that walk upon the road,
Why do you not join me?
A man that has no brothers,
Why do you not help him?

Tall stands that pear-tree;
Its leaves grow very thick.
Alone I walk and unbefriended.
True indeed, there are other men;
But they are not like people of one’s own clan.
Heigh, you that walk upon the road,
Why do you not join me?
A man that has no brothers,
Why do you not help him?

1. The image of the pear-tree works by contrast, exactly as in no. 169.

120〈唐風・羔裘〉

Legge

Lamb’s fur and leopard’s cuffs,
You use us with unkindness.
Might we not find another chief?
But [we stay] because of your forefathers.

Lamb’s fur and leopard’s cuffs,
You use us with cruel unkindness.
Might we not find another chief?
But [we stay] from our regard to you.

Waley

Your Lamb’s Wool

In your lamb’s wool and cuffs of leopard’s fur
From people like me you hold aloof.
Of course, I have other men;
But only you belong to old days.

In your lamb’s wool and sleeves of leopard’s fur
To people like me you are unfriendly.
Of course, I have other men;
But it is only you that I love.

121〈唐風・鴇羽〉

Legge

Su-su go the feathers of the wild geese,
As they settle on the bushy oaks.
The king’s affairs must not be slackly discharged,
And [so] we cannot plant our sacrificial millet and millet;
What will our parents have to rely on?
O thou distant and azure Heaven!
When shall we be in our places again?

Su-su go the wings of the wild geese,
As they settle on the bushy jujube trees.
The king’s affairs must not be slackly discharged,
And [so] we cannot plant our millet and sacrificial millet;
How shall our parents be supplied with food?
O thou distant and azure Heaven!
When shall [our service] have an end?

Su-su go the rows of the wild geese,
As they rest on the bushy mulberry trees.
The king’s business must not be slackly discharged,
And [so] we cannot plant our rice and maize;
How shalll our parents get food?
O thou distant and azure Heaven!
When shall we get [back] to our ordinary lot?

Waley

The Bustard’s Plumes

Suk, suk go the bustard’s plumes;
It has settled on the oak clump.
But the king’s business never ends;
I cannot plant my cooking-millet and wine-millet.
Where can my father and mother look to for support?
O blue Heaven so far away,
When will this all be settled?

Suk, suk go the bustard's wings;
It has settled on the thorn-bushes.
But the king’s business never ends;
I cannot plant my wine-millet and cooking-millet.
What, then, are my father and mother to eat?
O blue Heaven so far away,
When will it all end?

Suk, suk goes that row of bustards;
They have settled on the mulberry clump.
But the king’s business never ends;
I cannot plant my rice and spiked millet.
Then how shall my father and mother be fed?
O blue Heaven so far off,
When will things go back to their wonted ways?

122〈唐風・無衣〉

Legge

How can it be said that he is without robes?
He has those of the seven orders;
But it is better that he get those robes from you.
That will secure tranquillity and good fortune.

How can it be said that he is without robes?
He has those of the six orders;
But it is better that he get those robes from you.
That will secure tranquillity and permanence.

Waley

No Bedclothes?

“How can you say you have no bedclothes?
   Why, you have seven!”
“But not like your bedclothes, so comfortable and fine.”
“How can you say you have no bedclothes?
   Why, you have six!”
“Yes, but not like your bedclothes, so comfortable and warm.”

123〈唐風・有杕之杜〉

Legge

There is a solitary russet pear tree,
Growing on the left of the way.
That princely man there!
He might be willing to come to me.
In the centre of my heart I love him,
[But] how shall I supply him with drink and food?

There is a solitary russet pear tree,
Growing where the way makes a compass.
That princely man there!
He might be willing to come and ramble [with me].
In the centre of my heart I love him,
[But] how shall I supply him with drink and food?

Waley

Tall Is the Pear-Tree

Tall is the pear-tree
That is on the left side of the road.
Ah, that good lord
At last1 has deigned to visit me.
To the depths of my heart I love him.
Had I but drink and food for him!

Tall is the pear-tree
That is at the turn of the road.
Ah, that good lord
At last is willing to come and play with me.
To the depths of my heart I love him.
Had I but drink and food for him!

1. Play of words on “tall” and “at last”? Both approximately died in Archaic Chinese.

124〈唐風・葛生〉

Legge

The dolichos grows, covering the thorn trees;
The convolvulus spreads all over the waste.
The man of my admiration is no more here;
With whom can I dwell? I abide alone.

The dolichos grows, covering the jujube trees;
The convolvulus spreads all over the tombs.
The man of my admiration is no more here;
With whom can I dwell? I rest alone.

How beautiful was the pillow of horn!
How splendid was the embroidered coverlet!
The man of my admiration is no more here;
With whom can I dwell? Alone [I wait for] the morning.

Through the [long] days of summer,
Through the [long] nights of winter [shall I be alone],
Till the lapse of a hundred years,
When I shall go home to his abode.

Through the [long] nights of winter,
Through the [long] days of summer [shall I be alone],
Till the lapse of a hundred years,
When I shall go home to his chamber.

Waley

The Cloth-Plant Grew

The cloth-plant grew till it covered the thorn-bush;
The bindweed spread over the wilds.
My lovely one is here no more.
With whom? No, I sit alone.

The cloth-plant grew till it covered the brambles;
The bindweed spread across the borders of the field.
My lovely one is here no more.
With whom? No, I lie down alone.

The horn1 pillow so beautiful,
The worked coverlet so bright!
My lovely one is here no more.
With whom? No, alone I watch till dawn.

Summer days, winter nights—
Year after year of them must pass
Till I go to him where he dwells.
Winter nights, summer days—
Year after year of them must pass
Till I go to his home.

1. A pillow of wood inlaid with horn.

125〈唐風・采苓〉

Legge

Would you gather the liquorice, would you gather the liquorice,
On the top of Shouyang?
When men tell their stories,
Do not readily believe them;
Put them aside, put them aside.
Do not readily assent to them;
And, when men tell their stories,
How will they find course?

Would you gather the sowthistle, would you gather the sowthistle,
At the foot of Shouyang?
When men tell their stories,
Do not readily approve them;
Put them aside, put them aside.
Do not readily assent to them;
And, when men tell their stories,
How will they find course?

Would you gather the mustard plant, would you gather the mustard plant,
On the east of Shouyang?
When men tell their stories,
Do not readily listen to them;
Put them aside, put them aside.
Do not readily assent to them;
And, when men tell their stories,
How will they find course?

Waley

Plucking Licorice

I was plucking licorice, licorice,
On the top of Shou-yang.1
The stories that people tell—
Do not believe them at all.
Let be, let be!
It is not so at all.
The stories that people tell—
What is to be got from them?

I was plucking sow-thistle, sow-thistle
At the bottom of Shou-yang.
The stories that people tell—
Do not heed them at all.
Let be, let be!
It is not so at all.
The stories that people tell—
What is to be got from them?

I was plucking cabbage, wild cabbage
To the east of Shou-yang.
The stories that people tell—
Do not be led by them at all.
Let be, let be!
It is not so at all.
The stories that people tell—
What is to be got from them?

1. Near Ping-yang, in south-central Shanxi. The first two lines in each verse may be comparisons; but I think they imply an alibi.