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 III — Greater odes of the kingdom
1 2 3
Chapter 3 — Decade of Dang

255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265

Shijing III. 3. (260)

Heaven, in giving birth to the multitudes of the people,
To every faculty and relationship annexed its law.
The people possess this normal nature,
And they [consequently] love its normal virtue.
Heaven beheld the ruler of Zhou,
Brilliantly affecting it by his conduct below ;
And to maintain him, its Son,
Gave birth to Zhong Shan-fu.

The virtue of Zhong Shan-fu,
Is mild and admirable, according as it ought to be.
Good is his deportment ; good his looks ;
The lessons of antiquity are his law ;
He is strenuously attentive to his deportment.
In full accord with the Son of Heaven,
He is employed to spread abroad his bright decrees.

The king gave charge to Zhong Shan-fu : –
'Be a pattern to all the princes ;
Continue [the services of] your ancestors.
You have to protect the royal person ;
Give out the royal decrees, and report on them.
Be the king's throat and tongue ;
Spread his government abroad,
So that in all quarters it shall be responded to. '

Most dignified was the king's charge,
And Zhong Shan-fu carries it into execution.
In the States, the princes, be they good or bad,
Are clearly distinguished by Zhong Shan-fu.
Intelligent is he and wise,
Protecting his own person ;
Never idle, day or night,
In the service of the One man.

The people have a saying : –
'The soft is devoured,
And the hard is ejected from the mouth. '
But Zhong Shan-fu,
Does not devour the soft,
Nor eject the powerful.
He does not insult the poor or the widow ;
He does not fear the strong or the oppressive.

The people have a saying : –
'Virtue is light as a hair,
But few are able to lift it. '
When I think of the matter,
It is only Zhong Shan-fu that can lift it.
I love him, but can do nothing to help him.
Any defects in the king's duties,
Are supplied by Zhong Shan-fu.

Zhong Shan-fu went forth, having sacrificed to the Spirit of the road.
His four steeds were strong ;
His men were alert ;
He was always anxious lest he should not be equal to his commission ;
His steeds went on without stopping,
To the tinkling of their eight bells.
The king had given charge to Zhong Shan-fu,
To fortify the city there in the east.

With his four steeds so strong,
And their eight bells, all tinkling,
Zhong Shan-fu proceeded to Qi ; –
And he will soon return.
I, Yin Ji-fu, have made this song : –
May it enter like a quiet wind,
Among the constant anxieties of Zhong Shan-fu,
To soothe his mind !

Legge 260

Shi Jing III. 3. (260) IntroductionTable of content
Previous page
Next page
Chinese landscape on plate (19)

The Book of Odes – Shi Jing III. 3. (260) – Chinese on/offFrançais/English
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
Welcome, help, notes, introduction, table.

Wengu, Chinese Classics multilingual text base