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 I — Lessons from the states
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15
Chapter 3 — The odes of Bei

26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44

Shijing I. 3. (35)

Gently blows the east wind,
With cloudy skies and with rain.
[Husband and wife] should strive to be of the same mind,
And not let angry feelings arise.
When we gather the mustard plant and earth melons,
We do not reject them because of their roots.
While I do nothing contrary to my good name,
I should live with you till our death.

I go along the road slowly, slowly,
In my inmost heart reluctant.
Not far, only a little way,
Did he accompany me to the threshold.
Who says that the sowthistle is bitter ?
It is as sweet as the shepherd's purse.
You feast with your new wife,
[Loving] as brothers.

The muddiness of the King appears from the Wei,
But its bottom may be seen about the islets.
You feast with your new wife,
And think me not worth being with
Do not approach my dam,
Do not move my basket.
My person is rejected ; –
What avails it to care for what may come after ?

Where the water was deep,
I crossed it by a raft or a boat.
Where it was shallow,
I dived or swam across it.
Whether we had plenty or not,
I exerted myself to be getting.
When among others there was a death,
I crawled on my knees to help them.

You cannot cherish me,
And you even count me as an enemy.
You disdain my virtues, –
A pedlar's wares which do not sell.
Formerly, I was afraid our means might be exhausted,
And I might come with you to destitution.
Now, when your means are abundant,
You compare me to poison.

My fine collection of vegetables,
Is but a provision against the winter.
Feasting with your new wife,
You think of me as a provision [only] against your poverty.
Cavalierly and angrily you treat me ;
You give me only pain.
You do not think of the former days,
And are only angry with me.

Legge 35

On passe quand l'eau est profonde,
soit en radeau, soit en bateau !
On passe l'eau quand elle est basse
soit par le gué, soit en nageant !

Granet XLIX.

Other Contemporary English Translation:

Sunday, August 19, 2007
Streaming Wind

From: Book of Ode
Period: Spring and Autumn
Section: Songs of Wei State
(Collected by Confucius)
Translated by Laijon Liu (2007.08.19)

Screaming, screeching, the streaming wind,
It is cloudy, rainy, and gloomy sky.
Husband and wife shall encourage each other,
They should not have any angers and blame.
As if we gather cabbages and radishes,
That we shall not throw away their roots.
Let us not forget our graceful words:
“Be with you together until our death!”

As I walked on my road slowly,
But my feet and heart are in disagreeing.
I do not wish you to go with me for long,
But I never expected you just stopped by the door.
Who said the edible plant is so bitter?
But to me it is sweet as shepherd's purse.
Your new marriage is feasting in happiness,
And you two are so close and brotherly.

River Wei joins into river Jing, defiled her surface,
But the bottom of river Jing is still very clear.
Your new marriage is feasting in happiness,
But please stop saying that I am unclean.
Please do not come to my fishing dam,
Please do not lift up my fishing baskets.
Even you do not respect my faithfulness,
Who would care about my name and family?

Marriage is river where is too deep,
Then we shall cross it in a boat.
Marriage is river where is shallow,
Then we shall swim to across it.
If we really lack or need anything,
Then we shall seek it in strength and heart.
Even our neighbor meet any disaster,
We offer our hands in crawling or running.

If you really do not love me I understand,
But why you look at me as if I’m your enemy.
All my love and grace you never accepted,
As if I’m junk that no one is willing to bid.
Our past life were in suffering of poverty,
We supported each other to overcome all troubles.
Now your life is in a good and easy shape,
But you compare me to a venomous insect.

I am like a preserved dry vegetable you stored,
That just for you to get pass the winter season.
Your new marriage is feasting in happiness,
But please do not use me to prevent poverty,
Please stop venting and ranting at me.
Please do not force me into any heavy labor.
All our past love and goodwill are forgotten,
And your grace and my love are gone and vanished.

The poet might be a wife who lived with her husband for some difficult and suffering time. And after their life got better, her husband found new love and abandoned her, married a young girl, and despised his old/first wife, and used his wife as his slave or servant or something. I really felt her paining. And I decided not to look or support for polygamy marriage. If I need to battle my wife for whole life, then to death I will fight with or against her like the TV show: “Everybody loves Raymond”. :-)
This poem is for every wife.

Anon. – 2006/12/08
Shi Jing I. 3. (35) IntroductionTable of content
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