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. (193)

At the conjunction [of the sun and moon] in the tenth month,
On the first day of the moon, which was Xin-mao,
The sun was eclipsed,
A thing of very evil omen.
Then the moon became small,
And now the sun became small.
Henceforth the lower people,
Will be in a very deplorable case.

The sun and moon announce evil,
Not keeping to their proper paths.
All through the kingdom there is no [proper] government,
Because the good are not employed.
For the moon to be eclipsed,
Is but an ordinary matter.
Now that the sun has been eclipsed, –
How bad it is !

Grandly flashes the lightning of the thunder ; –
There is a want of rest, a want of good.
The streams all bubble up and overflow.
The crags on the hill-tops fall down.
High banks become valleys ;
Deep valleys become hills.
Alas for the men of this time !
How does [the king] not stop these things ?

Huang-fu is the president ;
Fan is the minister of instruction ;
Jia-bo is the [chief] administrator ;
Zhong-yun is the chief cook ;
Zou is the recorder of the interior ;
Jue is master of the house ;
Yu is captain of the guards ;
And the beautiful wife blazes, now in possession of her place.

This Huang-fu,
Will not acknowledge that he is acting out of season.
But why does he call us to action,
Without coming and consulting with us ?
He has removed our walls and roofs,
And our fields are all either a marsh or a moor.
He says, ' I am not injuring you ;
The laws require that thus it should be ? '

Huang-fu is very wise ;
He has built a great city for himself in Xiang.
He chose three men as his ministers,
All of them indeed of great wealth.
He could not bring himself to leave a single minister,
Who might guard our king.
He [also] selected those who had chariots and horses,
To go and reside in Xiang.'

I have exerted myself to discharge my service,
And do not dare to make a report of my toils.
Without crime or offense of any kind,
Slanderous mouths are loud against me.
[But] the calamities of the lower people,
Do not come down from Heaven.
A multitide of [fair] words, and hatred behind the back, –
The earnest, strong pursuit of this is from men.

Distant far is my village,
And my dissatisfaction is great.
In other quarters there is ease,
And I dwell here alone and sorrowful.
Every body is going into retirement,
And I alone dare not seek rest.
The ordinances of Heaven are inexplicable,
But I will not dare to follow my friends and leave my post.

Legge 193

Shi Jing II. 4. (193) 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.

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