Shi Jing Introduction Table of content – The Book of Odes

The oldest collection of Chinese poetry, more than three hundred songs, odes and hymns. Tr. Legge (en) and Granet (fr, incomplete).

Section II — Minor odes of the kingdom
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Chapter 4 — Decade of Qi Fu

185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194

Shijing II. 4. (192)

In the first month [of summer] the hoar-frost abounds,
And my heart is wounded with sorrow.
The false calumnies of the people,
Also wax greater and greater.
I think how I stand alone,
And the sorrow of my heart grows intense.
Alas ! through my anxious cares,
My hidden sorrow goes on to make me ill.

Ye parents who gave me birth !
Was it to make me suffer this pain ?
[Why was this time] not before me ?
Or [why was it] not after me ?
Their good words are [only] from the mouth ;
Their bad words are [only] from the mouth.
The sorrow of my heart becomes greater,
And because of this I incur contempt.

My sorrow heart is very sad ;
I think of my unfortunate position.
The innocent people,
Will all be reduced to servitude with me.
Alas for me !
From whom shall I henceforth get support ?
I see a crow which will rest,
– But on whose house ?

Look into the middle of the forest ;
There are [only] large faggots and small branches in it.
The people now amidst their perils,
Look to Heaven, all dark.
But let its determination be fixed,
And there is none whom it will not overcome.
There is the great God, –
Does He hate any one ?

If one say of a hill that it is low,
There are its ridges, and its large masses.
The false calumnies of the people, –
How is it that you do not repress them ?
You call those experienced ancients ;
You consult the diviner of dreams :
They all say, ' We are wise ;
But who can distinguish the male and female crow ? '

We say of the heavens that they are high,
But I dare not but stoop under them.
We say of the earth that it is thick,
But I dare not but walk daintily on it.
For my freely expressing myself thus,
I have reason, I have good ground.
Alas for the men of this time !
Why are they such cobras and efts ?

Look at that rugged and stony field ; –
Luxuriantly rises in it the springing grain !
[But] Heaven moves and shakes me,
As if it could not overcome me.
They sought me [at first] to be a pattern [to them],
[Eagerly] as if they could not get me.
[Now] they regard me with great animosity,
And will not use my strength.

My heart with its sorrow,
Feels as if it were tied and bound by something.
This government of the present time, –
How oppressive it is !
The flames, when they are blazing,
May still perhaps be extinguished ;
But the majestic honoured capital of Zhou,
Is being destroyed by Si of Bao.

This issue is ever my anxious thought.
Moreover, you have the embarrassment of soaking rain.
Your carriage is loaded,
And if you throw away your wheel-aids,
Your load will be overturned,
And you will be crying, ' O sir, help me ! '

If you do throw away your wheel-aids,
Which give asistance to the spokes ;
And if you constantly look after the driver,
You will not overturn your load,
And in the end will get over the most difficult places ;
But you have not thought of this.

The fish are in the pond,
But they cannot enjoy themselves.
Although they dive to the bottom,
They are very clearly seen.
My sorrow heart is deeply pained,
When I think of the oppression in the kingdom.

They have their good spirits,
And their fine viands along with them.
They assemble their neighbours,
And their relatives are full of their praise.
When I think of my solitariness,
My sorrowing heart is full of distress.

Mean-like, those have their houses ;
Abjects, they will have their emoluments.
But the people now have no maintenance.
For Heaven is pounding them with its calamities,
The rich may get through,
But alas for the helpless and solitary !

Legge 192

Shi Jing II. 4. (192) IntroductionTable of content
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The Book of Odes – Shi Jing II. 4. (192) – Chinese off/onFrançais/English
Alias Shijing, Shi Jing, Book of Odes, Book of Songs, Classic of Odes, Classic of Poetry, Livre des Odes, Canon des Poèmes.

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