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The Book of Poetry, tr. by James Legge, [1876], at


The Ku Fêng; metaphorical, allusive, and narrative. The plaint of a wife supplanted by another, and rejected by her husband.

1    The east wind gently blows,
    With cloudy skies and rain.
’Twixt man and wife should ne’er be strife,
    But harmony obtain.
    Radish and mustard plants
    Are used, though some be poor;
While my good name is free from blame,
    Don't thrust me from your door.

2    I go along the road,
    Slow, with reluctant heart.
Your escort lame to door but came,
    There glad from me to part. p. 37
    Sow thistle, bitter called,
    As shepherd's-purse is sweet;
With your new mate you feast elate,
    As joyous brothers meet.

3    Part clear, the stream of Ching
    Is foul beside the Wei.
You feast elate with your new mate,
    And take no heed of me.
    Loose mate, avoid my dam,
    Nor dare my basket move!
Person slighted, life all blighted,
    What can the future prove?

4    The water deep, in boat,
    Or raft-sustained, I'd go;
And where the stream did narrow seem,
    I dived or breasted through.
    I labored to increase
    Our means, or great or small;
    When ’mong friends near, death did appear,
On knees to help I'd crawl. p. 38

5    No cherishing you give,
    I'm hostile in your eyes.
As peddler's wares for which none cares,
    My virtues you despise.
    When poverty was nigh,
    I strove our means to spare;
You, now rich grown, me scorn to own;
    To poison me compare.

6    The stores for winter piled.
    Are all unprized in spring.
So now, elate with your new mate,
    Myself away you fling.
    Your cool disdain for me
    A bitter anguish hath.
The early time, our love's sweet prime,
    In you wakes only wrath.

Next: XI. Shih Wei