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


The Chieh Nan Shan; allusive and narrative. A lamentation over the miserable state of the kingdom, denouncing the injustice and carelessness of Grand Master Yin as the cause of it, and the conduct of the king.

1That southern hill, sublime, uprears its craggy height;
Such thou, Grand Master Yin, before the nation's sight!
Burning with inward grief, none name thee even in jest;
Ruin impends, but thou delay’st the needed quest. p. 236

2Sublime that southern hill, with vegetation grand!
More awful thou, great Yin, whom as unjust we brand.
With pestilence and death, Heaven aids disorder's sway;
A silent nation frowns;—thou changest not thy way!

3On Yin our Chou depends. By justice he should bind
Our many states in one, with no disloyal mind,
And guide the people right, thus helpful to the king.
O cruel Heaven, that he such woes on all should bring!

4In him, himself inert, the people put no trust.
He, treacherous, from place and council keeps the just. p. 237
Mean men, unfairly screened, the common weal destroy,
And his vile relatives the highest posts enjoy.

5Great Heaven, unjust, the land exhausts with all these pains.
Great Heaven, unkind, these woes upon it ceaseless rains.
Oh! were the good in power, men's hearts would be at peace!
And ’neath impartial rule, our wranglings soon would cease.

6O great unpitying Heaven, our troubles have no close!
With every month they grow; men's minds know no repose.
My heart with grief is drunk. What weak hand holds the reins? p. 238
’Tis Yin's supineness that augments the people's pains.

7I yoke my steeds long-necked, and through the land I hie.
From the distress on every side vain the attempt to fly!

8Here evil rampant bares the spear;—they fight with rage,
Then pacified and friends, in revel they engage.

9This is from Heaven unjust. Our king has no repose.
Infatuate Yin rejects all counselors as foes.

10This song by me, Chia-fu, the king's sad case relates.
Would he but change his heart, and nurse the myriad states!

Next: VIII. Chêng Yüeh