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 6 — Decade of Bei Shan

205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214

Shijing II. 6. (211)

Bright are those extensive fields,
A tenth of whose produce is annually levied.
I take the old stores,
And with them feed the husbandmen,
From of old we have had good years,
And now I go to the south-lying acres,
Where some are weeding, and some gather the earth about the roots.
The millets look luxuriant ;
And in a spacious resting place,
I collect and encourage the men of greater promise.

With my vessels full of bright millet,
And my pure victim-rams,
We sacrificed to [the Spirits of] the land, and to [those of] the four quarters.
That my fields are in such good condition,
Is matter of joy to my husbandmen.
With lutes, and with drums beating,
We will invoke the Father of husbandry,
And pray for sweet rain,
To increase the produce of our millets,
And to bless my men and their wives.

The distant descendant comes,
When their wives and children,
Are bringing food to those [at work] in the south-lying acres.
The surveyor of the fields [also] comes, and is glad.
He takes [of the food] on the left and the right,
And tastes whether it be good or not.
The grain is well cultivated, all the acres over ;
Good will it be and abundant.
The distant descendant has no displacency ;
The husbandmen are encouraged to diligence.

The crops of the distant descendant,
Look [thick] as thatch, and [swelling] like a carriage cover.
The stacks of the distant descendant,
Will stand like islands and mounds.
He will seek for thousands of granaries ;
He will seek for myriads of carts.
The millets, the paddy, and the maize,
Will awake the joy of the husbandmen ;
[And they will say], ' May he be rewarded with great happiness.
With myriads of years, life without end !

Legge 211

Shi Jing II. 6. (211) IntroductionTable of content
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