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 1 — Decade of Wen Wang

235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244

Shijing III. 1. (237)

In long trains ever increasing grow the gourds.
When [our] people first sprang,
From the country about the Ju and the Qi,
The ancient duke Tan-fu,
Made for them kiln-like huts and caves,
Ere they had yet any houses.

The ancient duke Tan-fu,
Came in the morning, galloping his horses,
Along the banks of the western rivers,
To the foot of [mount] Qi ;
And there, he and the lady Jiang,
Came, and together looked out for a site on which to settle.

The plain of Zhou looked beautiful and rich,
With its violets and sowthistles [sweet] as dumplings.
There he began with consulting [his followers] ;
There he singed the tortoise-shell, [and divined].
The responses were - there to stay, and then ;
And they proceeded there to build their houses.

He encouraged the people and settled them ;
Here on the left, there on the right.
He divided the ground into larger tracts and smaller portions ;
He dug the ditches ; he defined the acres ;
From the west to the east,
There was nothing which he did not take in hand.

He called his superintendent of works ;
He called his minister of instruction ;
And charged them with the building of the houses.
With the line they made everything straight ;
They bound the frame-boards tight, so that they should rise regularly.
Uprose the ancestral temple in its solemn grandeur.

Crowds brought the earth in baskets
They threw it with shouts into the frames ;
They beat it with responsive blows ;
They pared the walls repeatedly, and they sounded strong.
Five thousand cubits of them arose together,
So that the roll of the great drum did not overpower [the noise of the builders].

They set up the gate of the enceinte ;
And the gate of the enceinte stood high.
They set up the court gate ;
And the court gate stood grand.
They reared the great altar [to the Spirits of the land],
From which all great movements should proceed.

Thus though he could nto prevent the rage [of his foes],
He did not let fall his own fame.
The oaks and the Yu were [gradually] thinned,
And roads for travelling were opened.
The hordes of the Hun disappeared,
Startled and panting.

[The chiefs of] Yu and Rui were brought to an agreement,
By king Wen's stimulating their natural virtue.
Then, I may say, some came to him, previously not knowing him ;
And some, drawn the last by the first ;
And some, drawn by his rapid success ;
Ans some, by his defence [of the weak] from insult.

Legge 237

Shi Jing III. 1. (237) 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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