221〈小雅・魚藻〉

Legge

The fishes are there, there among the pondweed,
Showing their large heads.
The king is here, here in Hao,
At ease and happy, while he drinks.

The fishes are there, there among the pondweed,
Showing their long tails.
The king is here, here in Hao,
Drinking, happy and at ease.

The fishes are there, there among the pondweed,
Sheltered by the rushes.
The king is here, here in Hao,
Dwelling in tranquillity.

Waley

Fish and Water-Plants

The fish are at home, at home among their water-plants,
Beautifully streaked are their heads.
The king is at home, at home in Hao,1
Content and happy he drinks his wine.

The fish are at home, at home among their water-plants,
Very pliant are their tails.
The king is at home, at home in Hao,
Drinking his wine, happy and content.

The fish are at home, at home among their water-plants,
Snuggling close to their reeds.
The king is at home, at home in Hao,
Very soft he lies.

1. Said to have been the capital of Zhou in the early days of the dynasty. When this poem was written, Hao had probably become a pleasure-palace, a sort of
Versailles. We do not know at what date the later conception of a “capital” began. When we discuss where the earliest kings had their “capital,” we are perhaps com-
mitting an anachronism. Possibly in early times the center of government was where the king was at the moment.

222〈小雅・魚藻之什・采菽〉

Legge

They gather the beans, they gather the beans,
In their baskets, square and round.
The princes are coming to court,
And what gifts have I to give them?
Although I have none to give them,
There are the state carriages and their teams.
What more have I to give them?
The dark-coloured [upper] robes with the dragon,
And the [lower garments with the] hatchet.

Right up bubbles the water from the spring,
And they gather the cress [about it].
The princes are coming to court,
And I see their dragon flags;
Their dragon flags moving [in the wind],
While the sound of their bells comes hui-hui.
There are the two outside horses, there are the whole teams,
Proofs that the princes are come.

Their red covers on their knees,
And their buskins below,
There is no remissness in their demeanour;
Of such should the son of Heaven approve.
To be rejoiced in are the princes,
And the son of Heaven gives them the badges of his favour.
To be rejoiced in are the princes,
And their happiness and dignities are renewed and extended.

On the branches of the oaks,
How abundant are the leaves!
To be rejoiced in are the princes,
Guardians of the regions of the son of Heaven.
To be rejoiced in are the princes,
Around whom all the blessings collect.
Discriminating and able are their attendants,
Who also have followed them hither.

It floats about, the boat of willow wood,
Fastened by the band of the rope.
To be rejoiced in are the princes,
And the son of Heaven scans [their merits].
To be rejoiced in are the princes,
And their happiness and dignities are enlarged.
How joyous, how happy,
Is their coming here!

Waley

Gathering Beans

When one gathers beans, gathers beans,
One puts them in baskets square or round.
The princes have come to Court;
With what gift can I present them?
Although this is nothing to give them,
It shall be a great coach and four.
What besides this shall I give them?
Black robe and broidered skirt.

High spurts that fountain;
Come, pluck the cress that grows by it.
The princes have come to Court;
Let us look at their banners.
Their banners flutter, flutter,
Their harness bells ring.
Driving teams of three, teams of four,1
The princes arrive.

Red greaves on their legs,
Cross-laced below.
Not that they are wanton or loose;
These are what the Son of Heaven gave.
Oh, happy princes,
To whom the Son of Heaven gave his charg
Oh, happy princes,
Before whom all blessings were spread!

The branches of the oak,
Their leaves cluster close.
Oh, happy princes
That guard the Son of Heaven’s land!
Oh, happy princes,
In whom all blessings unite!
On this side and that, to left and right,
We join in your procession.

It was adrift, that willow boat;
Now to our tow-line we have tied it.
Oh, happy princes,
Whom the Son of Heaven measures.2
Oh, happy princes,
May all blessings shelter them!
Let us play, let us sport;
For the princes have come.

1. Literally, “It is in teams . . . that (suo 所) the princes arrive.”
2. Probably corrupt. We need a meaning parallel to “tied.”

223〈小雅・魚藻之什・角弓〉

Legge

Well fashioned is the bow adorned with horn,
And swift is its recoil.
Brothers and relatives by affinity,
Should not be treated distantly.

When you keep yours at a distance,
The people all do the same with theirs.
What you teach,
The people all imitate.

Those brothers who are good,
Continue to display much generous feeling;
But between brothers who are not good,
Their intercourse is marked by troubles.

People who have no conscience,
Repine against each other, each one holding his own point of view;
One gets a place, and shows no humility
Till they all come to ruin.

An old horse, notwithstanding, thinks himself a colt,
And has no regard to the future.
It is like craving a superabundance of food,
And an excess of drink.

Do not teach a monkey to climb trees;
[You act] like adding mud to one in the mud.
If the sovereign have good ways,
The small people will accord with them.

The snow may have fallen abundantly,
But when it feels the sun’s heat, it dissolves.
You are not willing to discountenance [those parties],
And so they become [more] troublesome and arrogant.

The snow may have fallen largely,
But when it feels the sun’s heat, it flows away.
They become like the Man or the Mao;
This is what make me sad.

Waley

Horn Bow

Pliant the horn bow;
Swiftly its ends fly back.
But brothers and kinsmen by marriage
Ought not to keep their distance.

If you are distant
The common people will be so too;
But if you set a good example
The common people will follow it.

These good brothers
Are generous and forgiving;
But bad brothers
Do each other all the harm they can.

Common people are not good;
They turn their backs on one another, each his own way.
He who has got the cup won’t pass it on,
Until there is already nothing left in it.

Like1 the old horse that was changed into a colt,
They don’t look behind them.2
When they eat, it must be till they are gorged,
When they pour out drink, they take huge quantities.

Don’t teach monkeys to climb trees,
Or put wet plaster on wet plaster.3
If gentlemen set good rules
The lesser folk will fall in with them.

Thick though the snow may have fallen,
When sunshine warms it, it melts.
But none of you offers to step down or retire;
You remain proudly on high.

Fast though the snow may have fallen,
When sunshine warms it, it flows away.
That you should be so unseeing, so purblind—
That is what makes me sad.

1. “Like” is not expressed in the original.
2. I.e., don’t consider those who come ”after them,” who have not yet been served. The old horse, delighted by its own capers, did not notice that the village boys
were laughing at it “behind its back.”
3. The common people are bad enough already. Do not by your bad example add fresh wickedness to their wickedness.

224〈小雅・魚藻之什・菀柳〉

Legge

There is a luxuriant willow tree;
Who would not wish to rest [under it]?
[But this] god is very changeable;
Do not approach him.
If I were to [try and] order his affairs,
His demands afterwards would be extreme.

There is a luxuriant willow tree;
Who would not wish to take shelter [under it]?
[But this] god is very changeable,
Do not get yourself into trouble with him.
If I were to [try and] order his affairs,
His demands on me afterwards would be beyond measure.

There is a bird flying high,
Even up to heaven.
The heart of that man,
To what will it proceed?
Why should I [try to] order his affairs?
I should only find myself in pitiable misery.

Waley

Leafy Willow-Tree

Very leafy is that willow-tree,
But I would not care to rest under it.1
God2 on high is very bright;
Don’t go too close to him!
Were I to reprove him,
Afterward I should be slaughtered by him.

Very leafy is that willow-tree,
But I would not care to repose under it.
God on high is very bright;
Don’t hurt yourself on him!
Were I to reprove him,
Afterward I should be torn to pieces by him.

There is a bird, flies high,
Yes, soars to Heaven.
But that man’s heart
Never could it reach.
Why should I rebuke him,
Only to be cruelly slain?

1. Because liu (willow) also means “slaughter.”
2. I.e., the ruler.

225〈小雅・魚藻之什・都人士〉

Legge

Those officers of the [old] capital,
With their fox-furs so yellow,
Their deportment unvaryingly [correct],
And their speech full of elegance!
If we could go back to [the old] Zhou,
They would be admiringly looked up by all the people.

Those officers of the [old] capital,
With their hats of Tai leaves and small black caps!
Those ladies of noble Houses.
With their hair so thick and straight!
I do not see them [now],
And my heart is dissatisfied.

Those officers of the [old] capital,
With their ear-plugs of xiu-stones!
Those ladies of noble Houses,
Each fit to be called a Yin or a Ji!
I do not see them [now],
And my heart grieves with indissoluble sorrow.

Those officers of the [old] capital,
With their girdles hanging elegantly down!
Those ladies of great Houses,
With their [side] hair curving up like a scorpion’s tail!
I do not see them [now],
[If I could], I would walk along after them.

Not that they purposely let their girdles hang down;
The girdles were naturally long.
Not that they gave their hair that curve;
The hair had a natural curl.
I do not see them [now],
And how do I long for them!

Waley

Knight of the City

That knight of the city,
His fox-furs so brown,
His pose unchanging,
His speech well-cadenced.
He was coming back to Zhou,
And all the people stood gazing.

That knight of the city
In traveling hat and black headcloth;
That lady his daughter,
Thick and lovely her hair!1
Me, alas, she did not see!
Sad is my heart within.

That knight of the city
With his ear-stops of precious stone;
That lady his daughter
They called her Yin Ji.
Me, alas, she did not see!
Sorrow is pent up within.

That knight of the city
Dangled a sash cut so as to hang.
That lady his daughter
Curled her hair like a scorpion
Me, alas, she did not see!
Where can I go to seek her out?

No, it was not made to dangle;
The sash had length to spare.
No, it was not that she made it curl;
Her hair curled of itself.
Me, alas, she did not see!
But what use to pine and sigh?

1. This line is corrupt in the original and the sense can only be guessed at.

Karlgren

1. Those officers of the capital, their fox furs are very yellow; their bearing is unchanging, when they speak it is refined; they proceed to Chou, they are gazed at by (the myriad people:) all the people.

2. Those officers of the capital, they have t'ai -plant broad-hats or black caps; those noble ladies, how thick and long their hair! When I do not see them, my heart is not glad.

3. Those officers of the capital, their ear-stoppers are of rich siu stones; those noble ladies, they call them straight and good; when I do not see them, my heart is (stopped up and tied =) full of pent-up feelings.

4. Those officers of the capital, they train their sashes as if* (having) sash-trains; those noble ladies, their curling hair is like (the tail of) a scorpion; when I do not see them, I walk along after them.
* 而=如 as often, e.g. ode 47 胡然而天 »How is she so like Heaven».

5. It is not that they (really) train them (sc. the sashes), it is because the sashes (have surplus =) are extra long; it is not that they curl it (sc. the hair), it is because the hair (naturally) turns upwards; when I do not see them, oh how I am grieved!

226〈小雅・魚藻之什・采綠〉

Legge

All the morning I gather the king-grass,
And do not collect enough to fill my hands.
My hair is in a wisp;
I will go home and wash it.

All the morning I gather the indigo plant,
And do not collect enough to fill my apron.
Five days was the time agreed on;
It is the sixth, and I do not see him.

When he went a hunting,
I put the bow in its case for him.
When he went to fish,
I arranged his line for him.

What did he take in angling?
Bream and tench;
Bream and tench,
While people [looked on] to see.

Waley

Gathering Green

The whole morning I gathered green;
And in the end had not a handful.
My hair is all wispy;
I must go home and wash it.

All the morning I gathered blue;
But did not get a skirtful.
On the fifth day he was to come;
It is the sixth; and he is not here.

When he went hunting
I put his bow in its case;
When he went fishing
I reeled his line.

And what did he catch?
Bream and tench,
Aye, bream and tench;
On a line I strung them.

In the above song a girl, about to be married, goes to gather plants with which to make green and blue dyes for her trousseau-dresses. She fails to fill her basket, which is a bad omen. Sure enough, the man does not turn up on the wedding-day. She recalls the happy days of their courtship and the time when the omens were still good. When he was fishing he caught a great haul of bream and tench, which meant that they would be married and have many children.

We have seen from poem no. 178 that simultaneously with the attacks of the Xian-yun, the Zhou had trouble on their southern frontier. As an ally against their southern enemies they made friends with the chieftain of Shen (in southern Henan), and King Xuan’s successor, the last king of western Zhou (King You, 781-72 BC), married a Shen princess. The Lord of Shao, a fief near the Zhou capital, was sent with an army to the south, to fortify Xie, a stronghold of the Shen people. During the same period great campaigns, of which we hear much in the bronze inscriptions, were carried on against the tribes of the Huai Valley.

227〈小雅・魚藻之什・黍苗〉

Legge

Tall and strong grows the young millet,
Fattened by the genial rains.
Very long was our journey to the south,
But the earl of Zhou encouraged and cheered us.

We carried our burdens; we pushed along our barrows;
We drove our waggons; we led our oxen.
When our expedition was accomplished,
We knew we should return.

We went along on foot; we rode in our chariots;
Our whole host, and our battalions.
When our expedition was accomplished,
We knew we should return home.

Severe was the work at Su,
But the earl of Zhou built the city.
Majestic was the march of our host;
The earl of Zhou directed it.

The plains and low lands were regulated;
The springs and streams were cleared.
The earl of Zhou completed his work,
And the heart of the king was at rest.

Waley

Young Millet

Lusty is the young millet;
Copious rains have fattened it.
Long, long was our march to the south;
But the Lord of Shao has rewarded it.

Oh, our loads, our barrows,
Our wagons, our oxen!
But now the marching is over
And at last we are going home.

Oh, our footmen, our chariot-drivers,
Our armies, our hosts!
But now our marching is over
And at last we are going back.

Noble is the palace at Xie;
The Lord of Shao planned it.
Glorious was the army on its march;
The Lord of Shao gave it victory.

The highlands and the lowlands were made safe;
The springs and streams cleared.
The Lord of Shao has vanquished,
And the king’s heart is at rest.

228〈小雅・魚藻之什・隰桑〉

Legge

In the low, wet grounds, the mulberry trees are beautiful,
And their leaves are luxuriant.
When I see the princely men,
How great is the pleasure!

In the low, wet grounds, the mulberry trees are beautiful,
And their leaves are glossy.
When I see the princely men,
How can I be other than glad?

In the low, wet grounds, the mulberry trees are beautiful,
And their leaves are dark.
When I see the princely men,
Their virtuous fame draws them close [to my heart].

In my heart I love them,
And why should I not say so?
In the core of my heart I keep them,
And never will forget them.

Waley

Mulberry on the Lowland

The mulberry on the lowland, how graceful!
Its leaves, how tender!
Now that I have seen my lord,
Ah, what delight!

The mulberry on the lowland, how graceful!
Its leaves, how glossy!
Now that I have seen my lord,
What joy indeed!

The mulberry on the lowland, how graceful,
Its leaves, how fresh!
Now I have seen my lord,
His high fame holds fast.

Love that is felt in the heart,
Why should it not be told in words?
To the core of my heart I treasure him,
Could not ever cease to love him.

229〈小雅・魚藻之什・白華〉

Legge

The fibres from the white flowered rush,
Are bound with the white grass.
This man’s sending me away,
Makes me dwell solitary.

The light and brilliant clouds,
Bedew the rush and the grass.
The way of Heaven is hard and difficult;
This man does nto confirm [to good principle].

How the water from the pools flows away to north,
Flooding the rice fields!
I whistle and sing with wounded heart,
Thinking of that great man.

They gather firewood of branches of the mulberry trees,
And I burn them [only] in a [small] furnace.
That great man,
Does indeed toil and trouble my heart.

Their drums and bells are beaten in the palace,
And their sound is heard without.
All-sorrowful I think of him;
He thinks of me without any regard.

The marabou is on the dam;
The [common] crane is in the forest.
That great man,
Does indeed toil and trouble my heart.

The Yellow ducks are on the dams,
With their left wings gathered up.
That man is bad,
Ever varying in his conduct.

How thin is that slab of stone!
He that stands on it is low.
That man’s sending me away,
Makes me full of affliction.

Waley

The White-Flower

The white-flower is twisted into bast,
The white reeds are bound in bundles.
But my lord is estranged from me,
Lets me be all alone.

White clouds spread across the sky,
There is dew on sedge and reed.
Heaven is verging toward calamity;
My lord makes no plan.

The Hu-tuo1 northward flowing
Wets those paddy fields.
Full of woe is this song I chant,
Thinking of that tall man.

They have gathered that brushwood of the mulberry-tree;
High it blazes in the furnace.
To think of that tall man
Truly scorches my heart.

Drums and bells in the house!
One can hear them from outside.
Thinking of you I am in misery—
How you looked at me without love.

There is a pelican on the dam,
A crane in the wood.
Thinking of that big man
Truly frets my heart.

There is a mandarin-duck on the dam;
It folds its left wing.
My lord is not good;
Twofold, threefold he gives his favors.

Lopsided is that stone;
If you tread on it, it goes down.
My lord is estranged from me,
And leaves me to my misery.

1. In East-central Shanxi.

In the last verse there are some puns, which I have explained in textual notes.

230〈小雅・魚藻之什・緜蠻〉

Legge

There is that little oriole,
Resting on a bend of the mound.
The way is distant,
And I am very much wearied.
Give me drink, give me food;
Inform me, teach me;
Order one of the attending carriages,
And tell them to carry me.

There is that little oriole,
Resting on a corner of the mound.
It is not that I dare to shrink from the journey,
But I am afraid of not being able to go on.
Give me drink, give me food;
Inform me, teach me;
Order one of the attending carriages,
And tell them to carry me.

There is that little oriole,
Resting on the side of the mound.
It is not that I dare to shrink from the journey,
But I am afraid of not getting to the end of it.
Give me drink, give me food;
Inform me, teach me;
Order one of the attending carriages,
And tell them to carry me.

Waley

Tender and Pretty

Tender and pretty1 are the yellow orioles
Perching on the side of the hill.
The way is long;
I am so tired. What will become of me?
Let him have a drink, let him have some food,
Give him a lesson, scold him,
But bid that hind coach
Call to him and pick him up.”

Tender and pretty are the yellow orioles
Perching on the corner of the hill.
How dare I shirk marching?
But I fear I cannot keep up.
“Let him have a drink, let him have some food,
Give him a lesson, scold him,
But bid that hind coach
Call to him and pick him up.”

Tender and pretty are the yellow orioles
Perching on the side of the hill.
How dare I shirk marching?
But I fear I shall not hold out.
“Let him have a drink, let him have some food,
Give him a lesson, scold him,
But bid that hind coach
Call to him and pick him up.”

1. Mian-man also suggests “on and on.” The orioles find their perch; but the soldier is allowed no rest.

231〈小雅・魚藻之什・瓠葉〉

Legge

Of the gourd leaves, waving about,
Some are taken and boiled;
[Then] the superior man, from his spirits,
Pours out a cup, and tastes it.

There is but a single rabbit,
Baked, or roasted.
[But] the superior man, from his spirits,
Fills the cup and presents it [to his guests].

There is but a single rabbit,
Roasted, or broiled.
[But] from the spirits of the superior man,
[His guests] fill the cup, and present it to him.

There is but a single rabbit,
Roasted, or baked.
[But] from the spirits of the superior man,
[His guests and he] fill the cup and pledge one another.

Waley

Gourd Leaves

Flutter, flutter go the gourd leaves;
We pluck them and boil them.
Our lord has wine;
He fills his cup and tastes it.

Here is a rabbit with a white head;1
Come, bake it, roast it.
Our lord has wine;
He fills a cup and proffers it.

Here is a rabbit with a white head;
Come, roast it, broil it.
Our lord has wine;
We fill a cup and hand it to him.

Here is a rabbit with a white head;
Come, roast it or bake it.
Our lord has wine;
We fill a cup and pledge with it.

1. I should think a rabbit with a white head was lucky, because it meant that one would live till one’s hair went white.

232〈小雅・魚藻之什・漸漸之石〉

Legge

Those frowning rocks,
How high they rise!
Over such a distance of hills and streams,
How toilsome is the march!
The warrior, in charge of the expedition to the east,
Has not a morning’s leisure.

Those frowning rocks,
How they crown the heights!
Over such a distance of hills and streams,
When shall we have completed our march?
The warrior, in charge of the expedition to the east,
Has no leisure [to think] how he wll withdraw.

There are swine, with their legs white,
All wading through streams.
The moon also is in the Hyades,
Which will bring still greater rain.
The warrior, in charge of the expedition to the east,
Has no leisure [to think] of anything but this.

Waley

Jagged Are the Rocks

Jagged are the rocks.
Oh, how high!
These hills and rivers go on and on.
Oh, how toilsome!
But soldiers fighting in the east
Have no time to pause.

Jagged are the rocks.
Oh, how steep!
These hills and rivers go on and on.
It seems as though they would never end.
But soldiers fighting in the east
Have no time to halt.

We met swine with white trotters
Plunging in a herd through the waves.
The moon is caught in the Net.1
There will be deluges of rain.
Soldiers fighting in the east
Have no time to rest.

1. The Net, i.e., the Hyades, connected by the Chinese, as by us, with rain. Swine with white trotters are also an omen of rain. Rain falling looks like a net cast over the landscape. The characters for “net” and “rain” are in their oldest forms very similar.

233〈小雅・魚藻之什・苕之華〉

Legge

The flowers of the bignonia,
Are of a deep yellow.
My heart is sad;
I feel its wound.

The flowers of the bignonia [are gone],
[There are only] its leaves all-green.
If I had known it would be thus with me,
I had better not have been born.

The ewes have large heads;
The Three stars are [seen] in the fish-trap.
If some men can get enough to eat,
Few can get their fill.

Waley

Flowers of the Bignonia

Oh, the flowers of the bignonia,
Gorgeous is their yellow!
The sorrows of my heart,
How they stab!

Oh, the flowers of the bignonia
And its leaves so thick!
Had I known it would be like this,
Better that I should never have been born!

As often as a ewe has a ram’s head,
As often as Orion is in the Pleiades,
Do people today, if they find food at all,
Get a chance to eat their fill.

234〈小雅・魚藻之什・何草不黃〉

Legge

Every plant is yellow;
Every day we march.
Every man is moving about,
Doing service in some quarter of the kingdom.

Every plant is purple;
Every man is torn from his wife.
Alas for us employed on these expeditions!
How are we alone dealt with as if we were not men?

We are not rhinoceroses, we are not tigers,
To be kept in these desolate wilds.
Alas for us employed on these expeditions!
Morning and night we have no leisure.

The long-tailed foxes,
May keep among the dark grass.
And our box-carts,
Keep moving along the great roads.

Waley

What Plant Is Not Faded?

What plant is not faded?
What day do we not march?
What man is not taken
To defend the four bounds?

What plant is not wilting?
What man is not taken from his wife?
Alas for us soldiers,
Treated as though we were not fellow-men!

Are we buffaloes, are we tigers
That our home should be these desolate wilds?
Alas for us soldiers,
Neither by day nor night can we rest!

The fox bumps and drags
Through the tall, thick grass.
Inch by inch move our barrows
As we push them along the track.

〈大雅〉

The poems in “The Major Odes” (Da ya) are “major” in the sense that they interweave historical and legendary materials of the Zhou state into the concerns of the aristocratic society, giving the thirty one poems a general sense of grandeur and retrospection. Again there is still a mix of poems contemplating daily events in the here and now, especially those of the clan and king. What is special about “The Major Odes” however, is the clustering of important narratives that tell the story of the origins and early struggles of the Zhou people. In these poems we have the creative imagining of the Zhou people as a cultural force. These works come closest in spirit to the epic narratives of other traditions, leading one modern critic to reconstruct from them a lyrical epic of the Zhou people. Nothing is more important to that community and its celebration than “Birth to the People” (245), which plots the origins of the Zhou and describes their agricultural legacy to Chinese civilization. It is also one of the few poems in the strongly humanistic tradition of the Zhou that hints at a more magical beginning: “She trod on the big toe of God’s footprint/Was accepted and got what she desired [i.e., pregnant].” The long denouement after the birth of that child, Hou Ji, or Lord Millet, is filled with royal ancestors, timely migrations, and heroic conquests; yet overshadowing all of that is the presence of King Wen, the Civilized, whom Heaven selected to take up the rule of the whole world: “King Wen is on high;/Oh, he shines in Heaven!/Zhou is an old people,/But its charge is new” (235). From King Wen follows in quick succession the noble lineage of early Zhou dynastic rulers: King Wu, the Martial, who accepted the unpleasant but necessary task of smiting the Shang royal house; his brother, the beloved Duke of Zhou, who acted as sagely regent to the young king and graciously yielded power at the appropriate time; and young King Cheng, the Perfecter, who drew these various strands of leadership together into an enlightened reign. For these and other names see Important Legendary and Historical Figures, in the front of the book.

235〈大雅・文王〉

Legge

King Wen is on high;
Oh! bright is he in heaven.
Although Zhou was an old country,
The [favouring] appointment lighted on it recently.
Illustrious was the House of Zhou,
And the appointment of God came at the proper season.
King Wen ascends and descends,
On the left and the right of God.

Full of earnest activity was king Wen,
And his fame is without end.
The gifts [of God] to Zhou,
Extend to the descendants of king Wen;
To the descendants of king Wen,
In the direct line and the collateral branches for a hundred generations.
All the officers of Zhou,
Shall [also] be illustrious from age to age.

They shall be illustrious from age to age,
Zealously and reverently pursuing their plans.
Admirable are the many officers,
Born in this royal kingdom.
The royal kingdom is able to produce them,
The suppporters of [the House of] Zhou.
Numerous is the array of officers,
And by them king Wen enjoys his repose.

Profound was king Wen;
Oh! continuous and bright was his feeling of reverence.
Great is the appointment of Heaven!
There were the descendants of [the sovereigns] of Shang;
The descendants of the sovereigns of Shang,
Were in number more than hundreds of thousands;
But when God gave the command,
They became subject to Zhou.

They became subject to Zhou.
The appointment of Heaven is not constant.
The officers of Yin, admirable and alert,
Assist at the libations in [our] capital;
They assist at those libations,
Always wearing the hatchets on their lower garment and their peculiar cap.
O ye loyal ministers of the king,
Ever think of your ancestor!

Ever think of your ancestor,
Cultivating your virtue,
Always striving to accord with the will [of Heaven].
So shall you be seeking for much happiness.
Before Yin lost the multitudes,
[Its kings] were the assessors fo God.
Look to Yin as a beacon;
The great appointment is not easily [preserved].

The appointment is not easily [preserved],
Do not cause your own extinction.
Display and make bright your righteousness and name,
And look at [the fate of] Yin in the light of Heaven.
The doings of High Heaven,
Have neither sound nor smell.
Take your pattern from king Wen,
And the myriad regions will repose confidence in you.

Waley

King Wen

King Wen is on high;
Oh, he shines in Heaven!
Zhou is an old people,
But its charge is new.
The land of Zhou became illustrious,
Blessed by God’s charge.
King Wen ascends and descends
On God’s left hand, on His right.

Very diligent was King Wen,
His high fame does not cease;
He spread his bounties in Zhou,
And now in his grandsons and sons,
In his grandsons and sons
The stem has branched
Into manifold generations,
And all the knights of Zhou
Are glorious in their generation.

Glorious in their generation,
And their counsels well pondered.
Mighty were the many knights
That brought this kingdom to its birth.
This kingdom well they bore;
They were the prop of Zhou.
Splendid were those many knights
Who gave comfort to Wen the king.

August is Wen the king;
Oh, to be reverenced in his glittering light!
Mighty the charge that Heaven gave him.
The grandsons and sons of the Shang,1
Shang’s grandsons and sons,
Their hosts were innumerable.
But God on high gave His command,
And by Zhou they were subdued.

By Zhou they were subdued;
Heaven’s charge is not for ever.
The knights of Yin,2 big and little,
Made libations and offerings at the capital;
What they did was to make libations
Dressed in skirted robe and close cap.
O chosen servants of the king,
May you never thus shame your ancestors!

May you never shame your ancestors,
But rather tend their inward power,
That for ever you may be linked to Heaven’s charge
And bring to yourselves many blessings.
Before Yin lost its army
It was well linked to God above.
In Yin you should see as in a mirror
That Heaven’s high charge is hard to keep.

The charge is not easy to keep.
Do not bring ruin on yourselves.
Send forth everywhere the light of your good fame;
Consider what Heaven did to the Yin.
High Heaven does its business
Without sound, without smell.
Make King Wen your example,
In whom all the peoples put their trust.

1. The people overthrown by the Zhou.
2. Another name for the Shang.

Karlgren

1. Wen Wang is on high, oh, he shines in heaven; though Chou is an old state, its (heavenly) appointment is new;
the house of Chou became amply illustrious, was not the appointment of God timely? Wen Wang ascends and descends (a), he is on the left and right of God.

2. Vigorous was Wen Wang, his good fame never ceases; amply endowed, indeed, was (the house of) Chou; there were the grandsons and sons of Wen Wang;
the grandsons and sons of Wen Wang, (they are) the trunk officers of Chou, they are amply illustrious for (ample =) many generations.

3. Amply illustrious for generations, their plans (have been carefully laid:) are very orderly; fine are the many officers who are born in this kingdom;
the kingdom has been able to bear them, they are the supporters of Chou; stately are the many officers; Wen Wang through them enjoys his repose.

4. August was Wen Wang, continuously bright and reverent; great, indeed, was the appointment of Heaven; there were Shang's grandsons and sons;
Shang's grandsons sons, their number, was it not a hundred thousand! But God on High gave his appointment, so they became subject to Chou.

5. They became subject to Chou; Heaven's appointment is not for ever; the officers of Yin were fine and active but their libations were presented in the capital (of Chou);
when they made their presentation of libations, they wore, as (regular =) ritual garments, the embroidered skirts and ceremonial caps; oh, you promoted servants of the king, should you not think of your ancestors?

6. Should you not think of your ancestors, and so cultivate their virtues? For ever (be a match for =) be worthy of (Heaven's) appointment, and seek for yourself much felicity;
when Yin had not yet lost the multitudes, it was able to be a counterpart to God on High (b); you ought to mirror yourself in (the fate of) Yin; the great appointment is not easy (to keep).

7. The appointment not being easy (to keep), may it not cease in your persons (c); display and make bright your good fame; the Lord of Yü (d) and (the house of) Yin got their investiture from Heaven;
but the actions of High Heaven have no sound, no smell (e); you should (now) make Wen Wang your pattern; all the states will then have confidence.

(a) Descending when coming, as a spirit, to accept sacrificial gifts.
(b) Rulers on earth, corresponding to God in heaven.
(c) But continue in your descendants.
(d) The dynasty prior to the Hia.
(e) They are inscrutable, Heaven has rejected Yin.

236〈大雅・文王之什・大明〉

Legge

The illustration of illustrious [virtue] is required below,
And the dread majesty is on high.*
Heaven is not readily to be relied on;
It is not easy to be king.
Yin’s rightful heir to the heavenly seat,
Was not permitted to possess the kingdom.

Ren, the second of the princesses of Zhi,
From [the domain of] Yin-shang,
Came to be married to the prince of Zhou,
And because his wife in his capital,
Both she and king Ji*,
Were entirely virtuous.
[Then] Tai-ren became pregnant,
And gave birth to our king Wen.

* 'The first two lines,' says the commentator Yan Can (嚴粲《詩緝》), 'contain a general sentiment, expressing the principle that governs the relation between Heaven and men. According to line 1, the good or evil of a ruler cannot be-concealed; according to 2, Heaven, in giving its favour or taking it away, acts with strict decision. When below there is the illustrious illustration (of virtue), that reaches up on high. When above there is the awful majesty, that exercises a survey below. The relation between Heaven and men ought to excite our awe.'
* The state of Zhi must have been somewhere in the royal domain of Yin. Its lords had the surname of Ren, and the second daughter of the House became the wife of Ji of Gao, She is called in the eighth line Tai-ren, by which name she is still famous in China. 'She commenced,' it is said, 'the instruction of her child when he was still in her womb, looking on no improper sight, listening to no licentious sound, uttering no word of pride.']

This king Wen,
Watchfully and reverently,
With entire intelligence served God,
And so secured the great blessing.
His virtue was without deflection;
And in consequence he received [the allegiance of] the States from all quarters.

Heaven surveyed this lower world;
And its appointment lighted [on king Wen].
In his early years,
It made for him a mate*;
On the north of the Xia;
On the banks of the Wei.
When king Wen would wive,
There was the lady in a large State.*

* Heaven is here represented as arranging for the fulfilment of its purposes beforehand.
* The name of the state was Xin 莘, and it must have been near the Xia (=He 洽) and the Wei, somewhere in the south-east of the present Shaanxi.

In a large State was the lady,
Like a fair denizen of Heaven.
The ceremonies* determined the auspiciousness [of the union].
And in person he met her on the Wei.
Over it he made a bridge of boats;
The glory [of the occasion] was illustrious.

* 'The ceremonies' would be various; first of all, divination by means of the tortoise-shell.

The favouring appointment was from Heaven,
Giving the throne to our king Wen,
In the capital of Zhou.
The lady-successor was from Xin,
Its eldest daughter, who came to marry him.
She was blessed to give birth to king Wu,
Who was preserved, and helped, and received also the appointment,
And in accordance with it smote the great Shang.

The troops of Yin-shang,
Were collected like a forest,
And marshalled in the wilderness of Mu.
We rose [to the crisis];
‘God is with you, ‘[said Shang-fu to the king],
‘Have no doubts in your heart.’

The wilderness of Mu spread out extensive;
Bright shone the chariots of sandal;
The teams of bays, black-maned and white-bellied, galloped along;
The grand-master Shang-fu,
Was like an eagle on the wing,
Assisting king Wu,
Who at one onset smote the great Shang.
That morning’s encounter was followed by a clear bright [day].

Waley

Major Bright

Bright they shone on earth below,
Majestic they blaze on high.
Heaven cannot be trusted;
Kingship is easily lost.
Heaven set up a foe to match the Yin;
Did not let them keep their frontier lands.

Zhong-shi Ren of Zhi1
From those Yin and Shang
Came to marry in Zhou,
To be a bride in the capital,
And with Ji the king2
She joined in works of power.

Tai-ren became big with child;
She bore this King Wen.
Now this King Wen
Was very circumspect and reverent,
Toiled to serve God on high.
He received many blessings,
His inward power never failed
To protect his frontiers, his realms.

Heaven gazed below;
Saw that its charge had been fulfilled,
King Wen had begun his task.
Heaven made for him a match,
To the north of the River He,
On the banks of the Wei.

King Wen was blessed.
A great country had a child,
A great country had a child
Fair as a sister of Heaven.
King Wen fixed on a lucky day
And went himself to meet her at the Wei;
He joined boats and made of them a bridge;
Very dazzling their splendor.

There came a command from Heaven3
Ordering this King Wen
In Zhou, in his capital,
To give the succession to a Lady Xin,4
The eldest of her family;
Who bravely bore King Wu.
“Heaven’s protection and help are allotted to you
To assail the great Shang.”

The armies of Yin and Shang—
Their catapults were like the trees of a forest.
They marshaled their forces at Mu-ye:5
A target set up for us.
“God on high is watching you;
Let no treachery be in your hearts.”

The field of Mu-ye spread far,
The war chariots gleamed,
The team of white-bellies was tough,
The captain was Shang-fu;6
Like an eagle he uprose.7
Ah, that King Wu
Swiftly fell upon Great Shang,
Who before daybreak begged for a truce.

1. Tai-ren. She was presumably the daughter of a Shang grandee.
2. Wangji.
3. “There came a command from Heaven…” Here the song retraces its steps. This verse does not go on to a fresh narration, but echoes the last. The narrative songs developed out of lyric poems in which each verse deliberately echoes the last, and there are considerable survivals of this structure in the long ballads. There is not the slightest reason to suppose that two successive marriages are being spoken of. We may regard Xin (a domain of whose history we know nothing) as scarcely deserving the name of “great country.” But compare no. 54, where another small state is conventionally spoken of as a “great country.”
4. Or Shen; near He-yang, eastern Shaanxi. To give her succession as queen.
5. In northern Henan, near the Shang capital.
6. Known also as Tai Gong Wang; one of the companions of King Wu.
7. Very likely corrupt.

237〈大雅・文王之什・緜〉(綿)

Legge

In long trains ever increasing grow the gourds.
When [our] people first sprang,
From the country about the Ju and the Qi,
The ancient duke Tan-fu,
Made for them kiln-like huts and caves,
Ere they had yet any houses.

The ancient duke Tan-fu,
Came in the morning, galloping his horses,
Along the banks of the western rivers,
To the foot of [mount] Qi;
And there, he and the lady Jiang,
Came, and together looked out for a site on which to settle.

The plain of Zhou looked beautiful and rich,
With its violets and sowthistles [sweet] as dumplings.
There he began with consulting [his followers];
There he singed the tortoise-shell, [and divined].
The responses were - there to stay, and then;
And they proceeded there to build their houses.

He encouraged the people and settled them;
Here on the left, there on the right.
He divided the ground into larger tracts and smaller portions;
He dug the ditches; he defined the acres;
From the west to the east,
There was nothing which he did not take in hand.

He called his superintendent of works;
He called his minister of instruction;
And charged them with the building of the houses.
With the line they made everything straight;
They bound the frame-boards tight, so that they should rise regularly.
Uprose the ancestral temple in its solemn grandeur.

Crowds brought the earth in baskets
They threw it with shouts into the frames;
They beat it with responsive blows;
They pared the walls repeatedly, and they sounded strong.
Five thousand cubits of them arose together,
So that the roll of the great drum did not overpower [the noise of the builders].

They set up the gate of the enceinte;
And the gate of the enceinte stood high.
They set up the court gate;
And the court gate stood grand.
They reared the great altar [to the Spirits of the land],
From which all great movements should proceed.

Thus though he could nto prevent the rage [of his foes],
He did not let fall his own fame.
The oaks and the Yu were [gradually] thinned,
And roads for travelling were opened.
The hordes of the Hun disappeared,
Startled and panting.

[The chiefs of] Yu and Rui were brought to an agreement,
By king Wen’s stimulating their natural virtue.
Then, I may say, some came to him, previously not knowing him;
And some, drawn the last by the first;
And some, drawn by his rapid success;
Ans some, by his defence [of the weak] from insult.

Waley

A large part of the human race at one time believed that mankind is descended from melon seeds. Dr. Alfred Kühn, in his excellent book on the origin-myths of Indochina,1 mentions some twenty peoples who in one form or another hold this belief. A quite superficial search supplied me with two African examples.2 I am told that the same belief existed in North America. The general form of the story in Indochina is summarized by N. Matsumoto in his Mythologie Japonaise is follows: “The human race is destroyed by a flood. The only survivors are a brother and sister, miraculously saved in a pumpkin. Very reluctantly the brother and sister marry, and have as their offspring sometimes a pumpkin, whose seeds sown in mountain and plain give birth to the different races of man, sometimes a mass of flesh, which the man divides into 360 parts.”
In ancient China, as in modern Indochina, gourds were commonly used as lifebelts, and it is clear that in all these stories the gourd is merely a primitive equivalent to Noah’s Ark.
The first line of the song which follows has always been taken as a simile, and no doubt it functions as one today. But in view of the facts mentioned above, it is most likely that embedded in this line is an allusion to a forgotten belief that “the people after they were first brought into being” were gourd seeds or young gourds. One has the impression, when reading the opening of this poem, that Dan-fu is an independent culture-hero, a rival, in fact, to Hou Ji. But tradition makes him a descendant of Hou Ji. He leads the people away from Bin, where their security is menaced by savage tribes, to Mount Qi, farther west. The “as yet they had no houses” of verse 1 does not mean that they were incapable of making houses, but that till their houses were ready they lived in loess-pits, as many inhabitants of Shaanxi still do permanently. Compare no. 194, last verse, where a migration is also referred to.

1. Berichte über den Weltanfang bei den Indochinesen, Leipzig, 1935.
2. Among the Shilluk of the Sudan and the Songo tribe of the Congo. See H. Baumann, Schöpfung und Urzeit des Menschen im Mythus der Afrikanischen Volker.

Spreading

The young gourds spread and spread.
The people after they were first brought into being
From the River Du1 went to the Qi.2
Of old Dan-fu the duke
Scraped shelters, scraped holes;
As yet they had no houses.

Of old Dan-fu the duke
At coming of day galloped his horses,
Going west along the river3 bank
Till he came to the foot of Mount Qi.4
Where with the lady Jiang
He came to look for a home.

The plain of Zhou was very fertile,
Its celery and sowthistle sweet as rice-cakes.
“Here we will make a start; here take counsel,
Here notch our tortoise.”5
It says, “Stop,” it says, “Halt.
Build houses here.”

So he halted, so he stopped.
And left and right
He drew the boundaries of big plots and little,
He opened up the ground, he counted the acres
From west to east;
Everywhere he took his task in hand.

Then he summoned his Master of Works,
Then he summoned his Master of Lands
And made them build houses.
Dead straight was the plumb-line,
The planks were lashed to hold the earth;
They made the Hall of Ancestors, very venerable.

They tilted in the earth with a rattling,
They pounded it with a dull thud,
They beat the walls with a loud clang,
They pared and chiseled them with a faint ping, ping;
The hundred cubits all rose;
The drummers could not hold out.6

They raised the outer gate;
The outer gate soared high.
They raised the inner gate;
The inner gate was very strong.
They raised the great earth-mound,
Whence excursions of war might start.7

And in the time that followed they did not abate their sacrifices,
Did not let fall their high renown;
The oak forests were laid low,
Roads were opened up.
The Kun8 tribes scampered away;
Oh, how they panted!

The peoples of Yu and Rui9 broke faith,
And King Wen harried their lives.
This I will say, the rebels were brought to allegiance,
Those that were first were made last.
This I will say, there were men zealous in their tasks,
There were those that kept the insolent at bay.

1. I.e., the Wei.
2. Not the Qi of no. 281, but another Lacquer River in western Shaanxi.
3. The Wei.
4. Mount Qi, west of the capital city of Hao, was earlier the home of Zhou people, who had been led there from Bin by Dan-fu. See no. 270. Ed.
5. Tortoise shells were used as divination tools, particularly during the Shang period (as is referred to here); for example, see Kwang-chih Chang’s Shang Civilization
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980), pp. 31-42. Ed.
6. The drummers were there to set a rhythm for the workmen. But they tired more quickly than the indefatigable builders.
7. The shrine where the soldiers were “sworn in” for the combat.
8. The same as the Dog Barbarians?
9. In western Shaanxi.

238〈大雅・文王之什・棫樸〉

Legge

Abundant is the growth of the yu and the pu,
Supplying firewood; yea, stores of it.
Elegant and dignified was our prince and king;
On the right and the left they hastened to him.

Elegant and dignified was our prince and king;
On his left and his right they bore their half-mace [libation-cups];
They bore their instruments with solemn gravity,
As beseemed such eminent officers.

They rush along, those boats on the King.
All the rowers labouring at their oars.
The king of Zhou marched on,
Followed by his six hosts.

Vast is that Milky Way,
Making a brilliant figure in the sky.
Long years did the king of Zhou enjoy;
Did he not exert an influence upon men?

Engraved and chiselled are the ornaments;
Of metal and of jade is their substance.
Ever active was our king,
Giving law and rules to the four quarters [of the kingdom].

Waley

Oak Clumps

Thick grow the oak clumps;
We make firewood of them, we stack them.
Great is the magnificence of the lord king;
On either hand are those that speed for him.

Great is the magnificence of the lord king;
On either hand are those that hold up scepters before him,
Hold up scepters in solemn state,
As befits doughty knights.

Spurt goes that boat on the Jing;
A host of oarsmen rows it.
When the King of Zhou goes forth,
His six armies are with him.

How it stands out, the Milky Way,
Making a blazon in the sky!
Long life to the King of Zhou,
And a portion for his people!1

Chiseled and carved are his emblems,
Of bronze and jade are they made.
Ceaseless are the labors of our king
Fashioning the network of all the lands.

1. Cf. no. 239.

239〈大雅・文王之什・旱麓〉

Legge

Look at the foot of the Han,
How abundantly grow the hazel and the arrow-thorn!
Easy and self-possessed was our prince,
In his pursuit of dignity [still] easy and self-possessed!

Massive is that libation-cup of jade,
With the yellow liquid [sparkling] in it.
Easy and self-possessed was our prince,
The fit recipient of blessing and dignity.

The hawk flies up to heaven;
The fishes leap in the deep.
Easy and self-possessed was our-prince;
Did he not exert an influence upon men?

His clear spirits are in vessel;
His red bull is ready;
To offer, to sacrifice,
To increase his bright happiness.

Thick grow the oaks and the yu,
Which the people use for fuel.
Easy and self-possessed was our prince,
Cheered and encouraged by the Spirits.

Luxuriant are the dolichos and other creepers,
Clinging to the branches and stems,
Easy and self-possessed was our prince,
Seeking for happiness by no crooked ways.

Waley

Foothills of Mount Han

Look at the foothills of Mount Han
With hazel and redthorn so thick.
Here’s happiness to my lord,
A happy quest for blessings.1

Fair is that jade-handled spoon2
And the yellow flood within.
Happiness to my lord,
On whom all blessings shall descend.

The kite flies up to Heaven;
The fish leaps in its pool.
Happiness to my lord,
And a portion3 for his people.

The clear wine is brought,
The Ruddy Male is ready
For offering, for sacrifice,
That great blessings may be vouchsafed.

So thick grow those oaks
That the people never lack for firewood.
Happiness to our lord!
May the Spirits always have rewards for him.

Dense grows the cloth-creeper,
Spreading over branches and boughs.
Happiness to our lord!
In quest of blessings may he never fail.

1. Pun on Han lu, “foothills of Han,” and han lu,“quest for blessings.” Mount Han is in southwestern Shaanxi.
2. A libation-ladle with a straight handle of jade.
3. Reading very doubtful.

240〈大雅・文王之什・思齊〉

Legge

Pure and reverent was Da-ren,
The mother of king Wen;
Loving was she to Zhou Jiang;
A wife becoming the House of Zhou.
Da-si inherited her excellent fame,
And from her came a hundred sons.

He conformed to the example of his ancestors,
And their Spirits had no occasion for complaint.
Their Spirits had no occasion for dissatisfaction,
And his example acted on his wife,
Extended to his brethren,
And was felt by all the clans and States.

Full of harmony was he in his palace;
Full of reverence in the ancestral temple.
Out of sight he still felt as under inspection;
Unweariedly he maintained [his virtue].

Though he could not prevent [some] great calamities,
His brightness and magnanimity were without stain.
Without previous instruction he did what was right;
Without admonition, he went on [in the path of goodness].

So, grown up men became virtuous [through him],
And young men made [constant] attainments.
[Our] ancient prince never felt weariness,
And from him were the fame and eminence of his officers.

Waley

Great Dignity

Great dignity had Tai-ren,
The mother of King Wen;
Well loved was Lady Jiang of Zhou,
Bride of the high house.
And Tai-si carried on her fair name,
Bearing a multitude of sons.

He1 was obedient to the ancestors of the clan,
So that the Spirits were never angry;
So that the Spirits were never grieved.
He was a model to his chief bride;
A model to his brothers old and young,
And in his dealings with home and land.

Affable was he in the palace,
Reverent in the ancestral hall,
Glorious and regarded by Heaven,
Causing no discontent, protected by Heaven.
Therefore war and sickness did not destroy,
Nor plague nor witchcraft work havoc.

Without asking, he knew what was the rule;
Without being admonished, he admitted.2
Therefore grown men could use their Inward Power,
And young people could find work to do.
The ancient were well content;
And the doughty well employed.

1. King Wu, traditional dates, 1122-16 BC.
2. The wise to his counsel? But the whole verse is probably corrupt.

241〈大雅・文王之什・皇矣〉

Legge

Great is God,
Beholding this lower world in majesty.
He surveyed the four quarters [of the kingdom],
Seeking for some one to give settlement to the people.
Those two [earlier] dynasties,
Had failed to satisfy Him with their government;
So throughout the various States,
He sought and considered,
For one on which he might confer the rule.
Hating all the great [States],
He turned His kind regards on the west,
And there gave a settlement [to king Da].

[King Da] raised up and removed,
The dead trunks, and the fallen trees.
He dressed and regulated,
The bushy clumps, and the [tangled] rows.
He opened up and cleared,
The tamarix trees, and the stave-trees.
He hewed and thinned,
The mountain-mulberry trees.
God having brought about the removal thither of this intelligent ruler,
The Guan hordes fled away.
Heaven raised up a helpmeet for him.
And the appointment he had received was made sure.

God surveyed the hills,
Where the oaks and yu were thinned,
And paths made through the firs and cypresses.
God, who had raised the State, raised up a proper ruler for it;
From the time of Da-bo and king Ju [this was done].
Now this king Ju,
In his heart was full of brotherly duty.
Full of duty to his elder brother,
He gave himself the more to promote the prosperity [of the country],
And secured to him the glory [of his act].
He accepted his dignity, and did not lose it,
And [ere long his family] possessed the whole kingdom.

The king Ju,
Was gifted by God with the power of judgement,
So that the fame of his virtue silently grew.
His virtue was highly intelligent;
Highly intelligent and of rare discrimination;
Able to lead, able to rule,
To rule over this great country;
Rendering a cordial submission, effecting a cordial union.
When [the sway] came to king Wen,
His virtue left nothing to be dissatisfied with.
He received the blessing of God,
And it was extended to his descendants.

God said to king Wen,
‘Be not like those who reject this and cling to that;
Be not like those who are ruled by their likings and desires;’
So he grandly ascended before others to the height [of virtue].
The people of Mi were disobedient,
Daring to oppose our great country,
And invaded Yuan, marching to Gung.
The king rose majestic in his wrath;
He marshalled his troops,
To stop the invading foes;
To consolidate the prosperity of Zhou;
To meet [the expectations of ] all under heaven.

He remained quietly in the capital;
But [his troops] went on from the borders of Yuan.
They ascended our lofty ridges,
And [the enemy] arrayed no forces on our hills,
On our hills, small or large,
Nor drank at our springs,
Our springs or our pools.
He then determined the finest of the plains,
And settled on the south of Ju,
On the side of the Wei;
The centre of all the States,
The resort of the lower people.

God said to king Wen,
‘I am pleased with your intelligent virtue,
Not loudly proclaimed nor pourtrayed,
Without extravagance or changeableness,
Without consciousness of effort on your part,
In accordance with the pattern of God.’
God said to king Wen,
‘Take measures against the country of your foes.
Along with your brethren,
Get ready your scaling ladders,
And yoru engines of onfall and assault,
To attack the walls of Chong.’

The engines of onfall and assault were gently plied,
Against the walls of Chong high and great;
Captives for the question were brought in one after another;
‘The left ears [of the slain] were taken leisurely.
He sacrificed to God, and to the Father of War,
Thus seeking to induce submission;
And throughout the kingdom none dared to insult him.
The engines of onfall and assault were vigorously plied,
Against the walls of Chong very strong;
He attacked it, and let loose all his forces;
He extinguished [its sacrifices], and made an end of its existence;
And throughout the kingdom none dared to oppose him.’

Waley

Sovereign Might

God on high in sovereign might
Looked down majestically,
Gazed down upon the four quarters,
Examining the ills of the people.
Already in two kingdoms1
The governance had been all awry;
Then every land
He tested and surveyed.
God on high examined them
And hated the laxity of their rule.
So he turned his gaze to the west
And here made his dwelling-place.

1. Xia and Yin. (The ruling houses before the Zhou. Ed.)

Cleared them, moved them,2
The dead trees, the fallen trunks;
Trimmed them, leveled them,
The clumps and stumps;
Opened them, cleft them,
The tamarisk woods, the stave-tree woods;
Pulled them up, cut them back,
The wild mulberries, the cudranias.
God shifted his bright power;
To fixed customs and rules he gave a path.
Heaven set up for itself a counterpart on earth;
Its charge was firmly awarded.

2. The subject of these verbs is “the people of Zhou.” Possibly there is a lacuna in the text.

God examined his hills.
The oak-trees were uprooted,
The pines and cypresses were cleared.
God made a land, made a counterpart,3
Beginning with Tai-bo and Wang Ji.
Now this Wang Ji
Was of heart accommodating and friendly,
Friendly to his elder brother,
So that his luck was strong.
Great were the gifts that were bestowed upon him,
Blessings he received and no disasters,
Utterly he swayed the whole land.

3. I.e., a king below, as God is King above.

Then came King Wen;
God set right measure to his thoughts,
Spread abroad his fair fame;
His power was very bright,
Very bright and very good.
Well he led, well lorded,
Was king over this great land.
Well he followed, well obeyed,
Obeyed—did King Wen.
His power was without flaw.
Having received God’s blessing
He handed it down to grandsons and sons.

God said to King Wen:
“This is no time to be idle,
No time to indulge in your desires.
You must be first to seize the high places.
The people of Mi4 are in revolt.
They have dared to oppose the great kingdom.
They have invaded Yuan and Gong.”
The king blazed forth his anger;
He marshaled his armies,
To check the foe he marched to Lu,5
He secured the safety of Zhou,
He united all under Heaven.

4. In eastern Gansu.
5. In eastern Gansu?

They drew near to the capital,
Attacking from the borders of Yuan.
They began to climb our high ridges;
But never did they marshal their forces on our hills,
Our hills or slopes,
Never did they drink out of our wells,
Our wells, our pools.
The king made his dwelling in the foothills and plains,
Dwelt in the southern slopes of Mount Qi,
On the shores of the River Wei,
Pattern to all the myriad lands,
King of his subject peoples.

God said to King Wen,
“I am moved by your bright power.
Your high renown has not made you put on proud airs,
Your greatness has not made you change former ways,
You do not try to be clever or knowing,
But follow God’s precepts.”
God said to King Wen,
“Take counsel with your partner states,
Unite with your brothers young and old,
And with your scaling ladders and siege-platforms
Attack the castles of Chong.”6

6. In Shaanxi? But this is now disputed.

The siege-platforms trembled,
The walls of Chong towered high.
The culprits were bound quietly,
Ears were cut off7 peacefully.
He made the sacrifice to Heaven and the sacrifice of propitiation.8
He annexed the spirits of the land, he secured continuance of the
ancestral sacrifices,
And none anywhere dared affront him.
The siege-platforms shook,
So high were the walls of Chong.
He attacked, he harried,
He cut off, he destroyed.
None anywhere dared oppose him.

7. To offer to the ancestors. We are told that the character means “ears cut off”; but I suspect that, as its form would suggest, it originally meant “heads cut off.”
8. To the spirits of the soil over which he rode. Compare no. 180.

242〈大雅・文王之什・靈臺〉

Legge

When he planned the commencement of the marvellous tower,
He planned it, and defined it;
And the people in crowds undertook the work,
And in no time completed it.
When he planned the commencement, [he said], ‘Be not in a hurry;’
But the people came as if they were his children.

The king was in the marvellous park,
Where the does were lying down,
The does, so sleek and fat;
With the white birds glistening.
The king was by the marvellous pond;
How full was it of fishes leaping about!

On his posts was the toothed face-board, high and strong,
With the large drums and bells.
In what unison were their sounds!
What joy was there in the hall with its circlet of water!

In what unison sounded the drums and bells!
What joy was there in the hall with its circlet of water!
The lizard-skin drums rolled harmonious,
As the blind musicians performed their parts.

Waley

The Magic Tower was built by King Wen near his capital at Hao, close to the modern Xi’an. The Moated Mound was a holy place surrounded by water, where the sons of the Zhou royal house were trained in the accomplishments of manhood. We have no reason to suppose that the young men were ever segregated there or that the Moated Mound in any way corresponds to the Men’s Houses and Initiation Houses of contemporary primitives. Manhood initiation in ancient China was, so far as we have any knowledge of it, a very mild affair, not unlike Christian confirmation. An inscription (Karlgren, B. 14) describes an early Zhou king as boating on the waters of the Moated Mound, where he shoots a large wild-goose. The Lord of Xing, who follows him in a “boat with red banners,” gives the bird a coup de grace, which suggests that the king had only managed to wing it.

The Magic Tower

When he built the Magic Tower,
When he planned it and founded it,
All the people worked at it;
In less than a day they finished it.

When he built it, there was no goading;
Yet the people came in their throngs.
The king was in the Magic Park,
Where doe and stag lay hid.

Doe and stag at his coming leapt and bounded;
The white herons gleamed so sleek.
The king was by the Magic Pool,
Where the fish sprang so lithe.

On the upright posts and cross-beams with their spikes
Hang the big drums and gongs.
Oh, well-ranged are the drums and gongs,
And merry is the Moated Mound.

Oh, well-ranged are the drums and gongs!
And merry is the Moated Mound.
Bang, bang go the fish-skin drums;
The sightless and the eyeless1 ply their skill.

1. I.e., blind musicians.

243〈大雅・文王之什・下武〉

Legge

Successors tread in the steps [of their predecessors] in our Zhou.
For generations there had been wise kings;
The three sovereigns were in heaven;
And king [Wu] was their worthy successor in his capital.

King [Wu] was their worthy successor in his capital,
Rousing himself to seek for the hereditary virtue,
Always striving to accord with the will [of Heaven];
And thus he secured the confidence due to a king.

He secured the confidence due to a king,
And became a pattern of all below him.
Ever thinking how to be filial,
His filial mind was the model [which he supplied].

Men loved him, the One man,
And responded [to his example] with a docile virtue.
Ever thinking how to be filial,
He brilliantly continued the doings [of his fathers].

Brilliantly! and his posterity,
Continuing to walk in the steps of their forefathers,
For myriads of years,
Will receive the blessing of Heaven.

They will receive the blessing of Heaven.
And from the four quarters [of the kingdom] will felicitations come to them.
For myriads of years,
Will there not be their helpers?

Waley

Footsteps Here Below

Zhou it is that continues the footsteps here below.
From generation to generation it has had wise kings.
Three rulers are in Heaven,
And the king1 is their counterpart in his capital.

He is their counterpart in his capital,
The power of generations he has matched;
Long has he been mated to Heaven’s command
And fulfilled what is entrusted to a king.

Has fulfilled what is entrusted to a king,
A model to all on earth below;
Forever pious toward the dead,
A very pattern of piety.

Loved is this One Man,
Meeting only with docile powers;2
Forever pious toward the dead,
Gloriously continuing their tasks.

Yes, gloriously he steps forward
Continuing in the footsteps of his ancestors.
“For myriads of years
May you receive Heaven’s blessing!

Receive Heaven’s blessing!”
So from all sides they come to wish him well.
“For myriads of years
May your luck never fail!”

1. If we count Wen, Wu, and Cheng as the three kings, then this is Kang (1078-53). But I doubt if the song is as early as that.
2. With obedient de; i.e., with obedience.

244〈大雅・文王之什・文王有聲〉

Legge

King Wen is famous;
Yea, he is very famous.
What he sought was the repose [of the people];
What he saw was the completion [of his work].
A sovereign true was king Wen!

King Wen received the appointment [of Heaven],
And achieved his martial success.
Having overthrown Chong,
He fixed his [capital] city in Feng.
A sovereign true was king Wen!

He repaired the walls along the [old] moat:
His establishing himself in Feng was according to [the pattern of his forefathers],
It was not that he was in haste to gratify his wishes;
It was to show the filial duty which had come down to him.
A sovereign true was [our] royal prince!

His royal merit was brightly displayed,
By those walls of Feng.
There were collected [the sympathies of the people of] the four quarters,
Who regarded the royal prince as their protector.
A sovereign true was [our] royal prince!

The Feng-water flowed on to the east [of the city],
Through the meritorious labour of Yu.
There were collected [the sympathies of the people of ] the four quarters,
Who would have the great king as their ruler.
A sovereign true was the great king!

In the capital of Hao he built his hall with its circlet of water;
From the west to the east,
From the south to the north,
There was not a thought but did him homage.
A sovereign true was the great king!

He examined and divined, did the king,
About settling in the capital of Hao.
The tortoise-shell decided the site,
And king Wu completed the city.
A sovereign true was king Wu!

By the Feng-water grows the white millet;
Did not king Wu show wisdom in his employment of officers?
He would leave his plans to his descendants,
And secure comfort and support to his son.
A sovereign true was king Wu!

Waley

Renowned Was King Wen

Renowned was King Wen,
Yes, high was his renown.
He united, he gave peace;
Manifold were his victories.
Oh, glorious was King Wen!

King Wen received Heaven’s bidding
To do these deeds of war.
He attacked Chong;
He made his capitol in Feng.1
Oh, glorious was King Wen!

He built his castle within due boundaries,
He made Feng according to the ancient plan.
He did not fulfill his own desires,
But worked in pious obedience to the dead.
Oh, glorious our sovereign and king!

Splendid were the works of the king.
Within the walls of Feng
All the peoples came together.
A sure buckler was our sovereign and king.
Oh, glorious our sovereign and king!

The Feng River flowed to the East
In the course made for it by Yu,2
Meeting-place for all the peoples.
A pattern was our great king.
Oh, glorious our great king!

To the capital at Hao, to the Moated Mound,
From west, from east,
From south, from north—
There were none that did not surrender.
Oh, glorious the great king!

Omens he took, our king,
Before the building of the capital at Hao;
The tortoise2 directed it;
King Wu perfected it.
Oh, glorious was King Wu!

By the Feng River grew white millet.3
How should King Wu not be continued?
He bequeathed his teachings and counsels
That they might give peace and protection to his sons.
Oh, glorious was King Wu!

1. Great Yu, Controller of the Flood. Ed.
2. I.e., by divination with a tortoise shell. Ed.
3. I should imagine that it grew unplanted and was a portent. There are many similar portents in Chinese legend.