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. (202)

Long and large grows the e ; –
It is not the e but the hao.
Alas ! alas ! my parents,
With what toil ye gave me birth !

Long and large grows the e ; –
It is not the e but the wei.
Alas ! alas ! my parents,
With what toil and suffering ye gave me birth !

When the pitcher is exhausted,
It is the shame of the jar.
Than to live an orphan,
It would be better to have been long dead.
Fatherless, who is there to rely on ?
Motherless, who is there to depend on ?
When I go abroad, I carry my grief with me ;
When I come home, I have no one to go to.

O my father, who begat me !
O my mother, who nourished me !
Ye indulged me, ye fed me,
Ye held me up, ye supported me,
Ye looked after me, ye never left me,
Out and in ye bore me in your arms.
If I would return your kindness,
It is like great Heaven, illimitable,

Cold and bleak is the Southern hill ;
The rushing wind is very fierce.
People all are happy ; –
Why am I alone thus miserable ?

The Southern hill is very steep ;
The rushing wind is blustering.
People all are happy ; –
I alone have been unable to finish [my duty].

Legge 202

Shi Jing II. 5. (202) IntroductionTable of content
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