Sacred Texts  Confucianism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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

p. 141


The Hsiao Jung; narrative. The lady of an officer absent on an expedition against the tribes of the west gives a glowing description of his chariot, and praises himself, expressing, but without murmuring, her regret at his absence.

1Before my mind's eye stands my lord's short car,
In which he dares the risks of savage war:—
Its pole, whose end turns upward, curving round,
And in five places shines, with leather bound;
The slip rings and the side straps; the masked place,
Where gilt rings to the front unite the trace;
The mat of tiger's skin; the naves so long;
The steeds, with left legs white, and piebalds, strong.
Such my lord's car! He rises in my mind,
Lovely and bland, like jade of richest kind;
Yet there he lives, in his log hut apart:—
The very thought confuses all my heart.

2The driver with the six reins guides along
The horses, with their shining coats, and strong:—.
One inside dappled, one bay with black mane;
Black-mouthed and bay, and black, the outer twain. p. 142
Shields, dragon-figured, rise up side by side,
Shelter in front ’gainst missiles to provide.
Gilt buckles with the carriage front connect
The inner reins by which the insides are checkt.
I see my lord, thus in his carriage borne,
With his mild form the frontier towns adorn.
What time can be for his return assigned?
Ah me! his figure ever fills my mind!

3With measured steps move the mail-covered team.
The trident spears, with gilded shaft ends gleam.
The feather-figured shield, of beauty rare,
He holds before him, all his foes to dare.
The bow case, made of tiger's skin, and bright
With metal plates, lies ready for the fight.
It holds two bows which bamboo frames secure,
And keep unhurt, to send the arrows sure.
To him thus busy all my thoughts are borne,
Both when I rest at night and rise at morn.
He, my good lord, is tranquil and serene,
His virtuous fame more prized, the more he's seen.

Next: IV. Chien Chia