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. (241)




Great is God,
Beholding this lower world in majesty.
He surveyed the four quarters [of the kingdom],
Seeking for some one to give settlement to the people.
Those two [earlier] dynasties,
Had failed to satisfy Him with their government ;
So throughout the various States,
He sought and considered,
For one on which he might confer the rule.
Hating all the great [States],
He turned His kind regards on the west,
And there gave a settlement [to king Da].

[King Da] raised up and removed,
The dead trunks, and the fallen trees.
He dressed and regulated,
The bushy clumps, and the [tangled] rows.
He opened up and cleared,
The tamarix trees, and the stave-trees.
He hewed and thinned,
The mountain-mulberry trees.
God having brought about the removal thither of this intelligent ruler,
The Guan hordes fled away.
Heaven raised up a helpmeet for him.
And the appointment he had received was made sure.

God surveyed the hills,
Where the oaks and yu were thinned,
And paths made through the firs and cypresses.
God, who had raised the State, raised up a proper ruler for it ; –
From the time of Da-bo and king Ju [this was done].
Now this king Ju,
In his heart was full of brotherly duty.
Full of duty to his elder brother,
He gave himself the more to promote the prosperity [of the country],
And secured to him the glory [of his act].
He accepted his dignity, and did not lose it,
And [ere long his family] possessed the whole kingdom.

The king Ju,
Was gifted by God with the power of judgement,
So that the fame of his virtue silently grew.
His virtue was highly intelligent ; –
Highly intelligent and of rare discrimination ;
Able to lead, able to rule, –
To rule over this great country ;
Rendering a cordial submission, effecting a cordial union.
When [the sway] came to king Wen,
His virtue left nothing to be dissatisfied with.
He received the blessing of God,
And it was extended to his descendants.

God said to king Wen,
' Be not like those who reject this and cling to that ;
Be not like those who are ruled by their likings and desires ; '
So he grandly ascended before others to the height [of virtue].
The people of Mi were disobedient,
Daring to oppose our great country,
And invaded Yuan, marching to Gung.
The king rose majestic in his wrath ;
He marshalled his troops,
To stop the invading foes ;
To consolidate the prosperity of Zhou ;
To meet [the expectations of ] all under heaven.

He remained quietly in the capital ;
But [his troops] went on from the borders of Yuan.
They ascended our lofty ridges,
And [the enemy] arrayed no forces on our hills,
On our hills, small or large,
Nor drank at our springs,
Our springs or our pools.
He then determined the finest of the plains,
And settled on the south of Ju,
On the side of the Wei ;
The centre of all the States,
The resort of the lower people.

God said to king Wen,
'I am pleased with your intelligent virtue,
Not loudly proclaimed nor pourtrayed,
Without extravagance or changeableness,
Without consciousness of effort on your part,
In accordance with the pattern of God. '
God said to king Wen,
' Take measures against the country of your foes.
Along with your brethren,
Get ready your scaling ladders,
And yoru engines of onfall and assault,
To attack the walls of Chong. '

The engines of onfall and assault were gently plied,
Against the walls of Chong high and great ;
Captives for the question were brought in one after another ;
' The left ears [of the slain] were taken leisurely.
He sacrificed to God, and to the Father of War,
Thus seeking to induce submission ;
And throughout the kingdom none dared to insult him.
The engines of onfall and assault were vigorously plied,
Against the walls of Chong very strong ;
He attacked it, and let loose all his forces ;
He extinguished [its sacrifices], and made an end of its existence ;
And throughout the kingdom none dared to oppose him.'

Legge 241

Shi Jing III. 1. (241) IntroductionTable of content
Previous page
Next page
Chinese landscape on plate (0)

The Book of Odes – Shi Jing III. 1. (241) – Chinese on/offFrançais/English
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
Welcome, help, notes, introduction, table.

Wengu, Chinese Classics multilingual text base