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. (198)

O vast and distant Heaven,
Who art called our parent,
That without crime or offence,
I should suffer from disorders thus great !
The terrors of great Heaven are excessive,
But indeed I have committed no crime.
[The terrors of] great Heaven are very excessive,
But indeed I have committed no offence.

Disorder then comes to the birth,
When the first untruth is received.
Its further increase,
Is from our sovereign's believing the slanderers.
If he were to be angry [with them],
The disorder would probably quickly be abated ;
If he were to show his joy [in the good],
The disorder would probably quickly cease.

Our sovereign makes frequent covenants,
And the disorders are thereby increased.
He believes the scoundrels,
And the disorders thereby grow into oppression.
Their words are very sweet,
And the disorders thereby advance.
They do not discharge their duties,
But only create distress to the king.

Very grand is the ancestral temple ; –
A true sovereign made it.
Wisely arranged are the great plans ; –
Sages determined them.
What other men have in their minds,
I can measure by reflection.
Swiftly runs the crafty hare,
But it is caught by the hound.

Trees of soft wood, easily wrought,
Are planted by wise men.
The words of way-farers that come and go,
Can be discriminated by the mind.
Their easy and grand words,
[Only] issue from their mouths.
Their artful words, like organ-tongues,
Show how unblushing are their faces.

Who are they ?
They [are like men who] dwell on the banks of the river ;
And they have neither strenghth nor courage,
While yet they rear the steps of disorder !
With legs ulcerated and swollen,
What courage can you have ?
You form plans great and many,
But your followers about you are few.

Legge 198

Shi Jing II. 5. (198) 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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