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 5 — Decade of Xiao Min

195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204

Shijing II. 5. (203)

Well loaded with millet were the dishes,
And long and curved were spoons of thorn-wood.
The way to Zhou was like a whetstone,
And straight as an arrow.
[So] the officers trod it,
And the common people looked on it.
When I look back and think of it,
My tears run down in streams.

In the States of the east, large and small,
The looms are empty.
Thin shoes of dolichos fibre,
Are made to serve to walk on the hoar-frost.
Slight and elegant gentlemen,
Walk along that road to Zhou.
Their going and coming,
Makes my heart ache.

Ye cold waters, issuing variously from the spring,
Do not soak the firewood I have cut.
Sorrowful I awake and sigh ; –
Alas for us toiled people !
The firewood has been cut ; –
Would that it were conveyed home !
Alas for us the toiled people !
Would that we could have rest !

The sons of the east,
Are only summoned [to service], without encouragement ;
While the sons of the west,
Shine in splendid dresses.
The sons of boatmen,
Have furs of the bear and grisly bear.
The sons of the poorest families,
Form the officers in public employment.

If we present them with spirits,
They do not look on them as liquor.
If we give them long girdle-pendants with their stones,
They do not think them long enough.
There is the milky way in heaven,
Which looks down on us in light ;
And the three stars together are the Weaving Sisters,
Passing in a day through seven stages [of the sky].

Although they go through their seven stages,
They complete no bright work for us.
Brilliant shine the Draught Oxen,
But they do not serve to draw our carts.
In the east there is Lucifer ;
In the west there is Hesperus ;
Long and curved is the Rabbit Net of th esky ; –
But they only occupy their places.

In the south is the Sieve,
But it is of no use to sift.
In the north is the Ladle,
But it lades out no liquor.
In the south is the Sieve,
Idly showing its mouth.
In the north is the Ladle,
Raising its handle in the west.

Legge 203

Shi Jing II. 5. (203) IntroductionTable of content
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Alias Shijing, Shi Jing, Book of Odes, Book of Songs, Classic of Odes, Classic of Poetry, Livre des Odes, Canon des Poèmes.

The Book of Odes, The Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean, Three-characters book, The Book of Changes, The Way and its Power, 300 Tang Poems, The Art of War, Thirty-Six Strategies
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