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p. 190


The Fa Mu; allusive. A festal ode, sung at the entertainment of friends; intended to celebrate the duty and value of friendship, even to those of the highest rank.

1The woodmen's blows responsive ring,
  As on the trees they fall;
And when the birds their sweet notes sing,
  They to each other call.
From the dark valley comes a bird,
  And seeks the lofty tree.
Ying goes its voice, and thus it cries,
  "Companion, come to me."
The bird, although a creature small,
  Upon its mates depends;
And shall we men, who rank o’er all,
  Not seek to have our friends?
All spirits love the friendly man,
  And hearken to his prayer.
What harmony and peace they can
  Bestow, his lot shall share. p. 191

2Hsü-hsü the woodmen all unite
  To shout, as trees they fell.
They do their work with all their might;—
  What I have done I'll tell.
I've strained and made my spirits clear,
  The fatted lambs I've killed.
With friends who my own surname bear,
  My hall I've largely filled.
Some may be absent, casually,
  And leave a broken line;
But better this than absence by
  An oversight of mine.
My court I've sprinkled and swept clean,
  Viands in order set.
Eight dishes loaded stand with grain;
  There's store of fatted meat.
My mother's kith and kin I wis
  I've widely called by name.
That some be hindered better is
  Than I give cause for blame.

3On the hillside the trees they fell,
  All working with good will. p. 192
I labor too, with equal zeal,
  And the host's part fulfill.
Spirits I've set in order meet,
  The dishes stand in rows.
The guests are here; no vacant seat
  A brother absent shows.
The loss of kindly feeling oft
  From slightest things shall grow,
Where all the fare is dry and spare,
  Resentments fierce may glow.
My store of spirits is well strained.
  If short prove the supply,
My messengers I straightway send,
  And what is needed buy.
I beat the drums, and in the dance
  Lead joyously the train.
Oh! good it is, when falls the chance,
  The sparkling cup to drain.

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