The Book of Poetry, tr. by James Legge, , at sacred-texts.com
2The wintry heavens, one arch of clouds,
Send down the flakes that fill the sky.
Then come the drizzling rains of spring,
That moisture, with the snow, supply,
To soak and fit the ground for use,
And in its season grain produce.
3The plots, arranged in order fit,
The millets in abundance bear. p. 288
So shall our lord the harvest view;
While food and spirits we prepare,
For those in whom our sires descend,
And guests who at the feast attend.
4The central plot the huts contains,
While gourds each path and boundary line.
Their fruits preserved, aside we put,
Till ’mong the offerings they shall shine.
So through his sires our lord shall gain
Long life, and gifts from Heaven obtain.
5The fragrant spirits first are poured;
Then near the gate the bull is led;—
So we invite our sires to come.
To show the victim pure and red,
The knife with bells slides through the hair.
Its blood and fat away we bear.
6'Then all our offerings we present,
Diffusing round a fragrance great.
How brilliant is the sacrifice!
Our ancestors in kingly state
Are there, unseen; but they shall send
Blessing and life,—years without end!