Shi Jing Introduction Table des matières – Le Canon des Poèmes

Le plus ancien recueil connu de poésie chinoise, plus de trois cents chansons, odes et hymnes. Tr. Legge (en) et Granet (fr, incomplète).

Section III — Greater odes of the kingdom
1 2 3
Chapitre 1 — Decade of Wen Wang

235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244

Shijing III. 1. (235)

King Wen is on high ;
Oh ! bright is he in heaven.
Although Zhou was an old country,
The [favouring] appointment lighted on it recently.
Illustrious was the House of Zhou,
And the appointment of God came at the proper season.
King Wen ascends and descends,
On the left and the right of God.

Full of earnest activity was king Wen,
And his fame is without end.
The gifts [of God] to Zhou,
Extend to the descendants of king Wen ; –
To the descendants of king Wen,
In the direct line and the collateral branches for a hundred generations.
All the officers of Zhou,
Shall [also] be illustrious from age to age.

They shall be illustrious from age to age,
Zealously and reverently pursuing their plans.
Admirable are the many officers,
Born in this royal kingdom.
The royal kingdom is able to produce them, –
The suppporters of [the House of] Zhou.
Numerous is the array of officers,
And by them king Wen enjoys his repose.

Profound was king Wen ;
Oh ! continuous and bright was his feeling of reverence.
Great is the appointment of Heaven !
There were the descendants of [the sovereigns] of Shang ; –
The descendants of the sovereigns of Shang,
Were in number more than hundreds of thousands ;
But when God gave the command,
They became subject to Zhou.

They became subject to Zhou.
The appointment of Heaven is not constant.
The officers of Yin, admirable and alert,
Assist at the libations in [our] capital ; –
They assist at those libations,
Always wearing the hatchets on their lower garment and their peculiar cap.
O ye loyal ministers of the king,
Ever think of your ancestor !

Ever think of your ancestor,
Cultivating your virtue,
Always striving to accord with the will [of Heaven].
So shall you be seeking for much happiness.
Before Yin lost the multitudes,
[Its kings] were the assessors fo God.
Look to Yin as a beacon ;
The great appointment is not easily [preserved].

The appointment is not easily [preserved],
Do not cause your own extinction.
Display and make bright your righteousness and name,
And look at [the fate of] Yin in the light of Heaven.
The doings of High Heaven,
Have neither sound nor smell.
Take your pattern from king Wen,
And the myriad regions will repose confidence in you.

Legge 235

Shijing III. 1. (236)

The illustration of illustrious [virtue] is required below,
And the dread majesty is on high.
Heaven is not readily to be relied on ;
It is not easy to be king.
Yin's rightful heir to the heavenly seat,
Was not permitted to possess the kingdom.

Jin, the second of the princesses of Zhi,
From [the domain of] Yin-shang,
Came to be married to the prince of Zhou,
And because his wife in his capital,
Both she and king Ji,
Were entirely virtuous.
[Then] Da-ren became pregnant,
And gave birth to our king Wen.

This king Wen,
Watchfully and reverently,
With entire intelligence served God,
And so secured the great blessing.
His virtue was without deflection ;
And in consequence he received [the allegiance of] the States from all quarters.

Heaven surveyed this lower world ;
And its appointment lighted [on king Wen].
In his early years,
It made for him a mate ; –
On the north of the Qia ;
On the banks of the Wei.
When king Wen would wive,
There was the lady in a large State.

In a large State was the lady,
Like a fair denizen of Heaven.
The ceremonies determined the auspiciousness [of the union].
And in person he met her on the Wei.
Over it he made a bridge of boats ; –
The glory [of the occasion] was illustrious.

The favouring appointment was from Heaven,
Giving the throne to our king Wen,
In the capital of Zhou.
The lady-successor was from Xin,
Its eldest daughter, who came to marry him.
She was blessed to give birth to king Wu,
Who was preserved, and helped, and received also the appointment,
And in accordance with it smote the great Shang.

The troops of Yin-shang,
Were collected like a forest,
And marshalled in the wilderness of Mu.
We rose [to the crisis] ; –
'God is with you, ' [said Shang-fu to the king],
'Have no doubts in your heart. '

The wilderness of Mu spread out extensive ;
Bright shone the chariots of sandal ;
The teams of bays, black-maned and white-bellied, galloped along ;
The grand-master Shang-fu,
Was like an eagle on the wing,
Assisting king Wu,
Who at one onset smote the great Shang.
That morning's encounter was followed by a clear bright [day].

Legge 236

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

Shijing III. 1. (238)

Abundant is the growth of the yu and the pu,
Supplying firewood ; yea, stores of it.
Elegant and dignified was our prince and king ;
On the right and the left they hastened to him.

Elegant and dignified was our prince and king ;
On his left and his right they bore their half-mace [libation-cups] ; –
They bore their instruments with solemn gravity,
As beseemed such eminent officers.

They rush along, – those boats on the King.
All the rowers labouring at their oars.
The king of Zhou marched on,
Followed by his six hosts.

Vast is that Milky Way,
Making a brilliant figure in the sky.
Long years did the king of Zhou enjoy ; –
Did he not exert an influence upon men ?

Engraved and chiselled are the ornaments ;
Of metal and of jade is their substance.
Ever active was our king,
Giving law and rules to the four quarters [of the kingdom].

Legge 238

Shijing III. 1. (239)

Look at the foot of the Han,
How abundantly grow the hazel and the arrow-thorn !
Easy and self-possessed was our prince,
In his pursuit of dignity [still] easy and self-possessed !

Massive is that libation-cup of jade,
With the yellow liquid [sparkling] in it.
Easy and self-possessed was our prince,
The fit recipient of blessing and dignity.

The hawk flies up to heaven ;
The fishes leap in the deep.
Easy and self-possessed was our-prince ; –
Did he not exert an influence upon men ?

His clear spirits are in vessel ;
His red bull is ready ; –
To offer, to sacrifice,
To increase his bright happiness.

Thick grow the oaks and the yu,
Which the people use for fuel.
Easy and self-possessed was our prince,
Cheered and encouraged by the Spirits.

Luxuriant are the dolichos and other creepers,
Clinging to the branches and stems,
Easy and self-possessed was our prince,
Seeking for happiness by no crooked ways.

Legge 239

Shijing III. 1. (240)

Pure and reverent was Da-ren,
The mother of king Wen ;
Loving was she to Zhou Jiang ; –
A wife becoming the House of Zhou.
Da-si inherited her excellent fame,
And from her came a hundred sons.

He conformed to the example of his ancestors,
And their Spirits had no occasion for complaint.
Their Spirits had no occasion for dissatisfaction,
And his example acted on his wife,
Extended to his brethren,
And was felt by all the clans and States.

Full of harmony was he in his palace ;
Full of reverence in the ancestral temple.
Out of sight he still felt as under inspection ;
Unweariedly he maintained [his virtue].

Though he could not prevent [some] great calamities,
His brightness and magnanimity were without stain.
Without previous instruction he did what was right ;
Without admonition, he went on [in the path of goodness].

So, grown up men became virtuous [through him],
And young men made [constant] attainments.
[Our] ancient prince never felt weariness,
And from him were the fame and eminence of his officers.

Legge 240

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

Shijing III. 1. (242)

When he planned the commencement of the marvellous tower,
He planned it, and defined it ;
And the people in crowds undertook the work,
And in no time completed it.
When he planned the commencement, [he said], ' Be not in a hurry ; '
But the people came as if they were his children.

The king was in the marvellous park,
Where the does were lying down, –
The does, so sleek and fat ;
With the white birds glistening.
The king was by the marvellous pond ; –
How full was it of fishes leaping about !

On his posts was the toothed face-board, high and strong,
With the large drums and bells.
In what unison were their sounds !
What joy was there in the hall with its circlet of water !

In what unison sounded the drums and bells !
What joy was there in the hall with its circlet of water !
The lizard-skin drums rolled harmonious,
As the blind musicians performed their parts.

Legge 242

Shijing III. 1. (243)

Successors tread in the steps [of their predecessors] in our Zhou.
For generations there had been wise kings ;
The three sovereigns were in heaven ;
And king [Wu] was their worthy successor in his capital.

King [Wu] was their worthy successor in his capital,
Rousing himself to seek for the hereditary virtue,
Always striving to accord with the will [of Heaven] ;
And thus he secured the confidence due to a king.

He secured the confidence due to a king,
And became a pattern of all below him.
Ever thinking how to be filial,
His filial mind was the model [which he supplied].

Men loved him, the One man,
And responded [to his example] with a docile virtue.
Ever thinking how to be filial,
He brilliantly continued the doings [of his fathers].

Brilliantly ! and his posterity,
Continuing to walk in the steps of their forefathers,
For myriads of years,
Will receive the blessing of Heaven.

They will receive the blessing of Heaven.
And from the four quarters [of the kingdom] will felicitations come to them.
For myriads of years,
Will there not be their helpers ?

Legge 243

Shijing III. 1. (244)

King Wen is famous ;
Yea, he is very famous.
What he sought was the repose [of the people] ;
What he saw was the completion [of his work].
A sovereign true was king Wen !

King Wen received the appointment [of Heaven],
And achieved his martial success.
Having overthrown Chong,
He fixed his [capital] city in Feng.
A sovereign true was king Wen !

He repaired the walls along the [old] moat :
His establishing himself in Feng was according to [the pattern of his forefathers],
It was not that he was in haste to gratify his wishes ; –
It was to show the filial duty which had come down to him.
A sovereign true was [our] royal prince !

His royal merit was brightly displayed,
By those walls of Feng.
There were collected [the sympathies of the people of] the four quarters,
Who regarded the royal prince as their protector.
A sovereign true was [our] royal prince !

The Feng-water flowed on to the east [of the city],
Through the meritorious labour of Yu.
There were collected [the sympathies of the people of ] the four quarters,
Who would have the great king as their ruler.
A sovereign true was the great king !

In the capital of Hao he built his hall with its circlet of water ;
From the west to the east,
From the south to the north,
There was not a thought but did him homage.
A sovereign true was the great king !

He examined and divined, did the king,
About settling in the capital of Hao.
The tortoise-shell decided the site,
And king Wu completed the city.
A sovereign true was king Wu !

By the Feng-water grows the white millet ; –
Did not king Wu show wisdom in his employment of officers ?
He would leave his plans to his descendants,
And secure comfort and support to his son.
A sovereign true was king Wu !

Legge 244

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Le Canon des Poèmes – Shi Jing III. 1. – Chinois off/on – Français/English
Alias Shijing, Shi Jing, Book of Odes, Book of Songs, Classic of Odes, Classic of Poetry, Livre des Odes, Canon des Poèmes.

Le Canon des Poèmes, Les Entretiens, La Grande Étude, Le Juste Milieu, Les Trois Caractères, Le Livre des Mutations, De la Voie et la Vertu, 300 poèmes Tang, L'Art de la guerre, Trente-six stratagèmes
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