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


The Ts’ai Shu; allusive and narrative. Responsive to the former;—celebrating the appearance of the feudal princes at the court, the splendor of their array, the propriety of their demeanor, and the favor conferred on them by the king.

1They pull the beans all o’er the ground,
To place in baskets square, and round. p. 309
So reap they what the fields produce,
For present and for future use.
When now themselves the princes show
No stores have I gifts to bestow,
      Befitting their great worth.
Yet a state carriage and its team
Will well a feudal prince beseem;—
      Let such be all brought forth.
And from the chambers let them bring
      The robes that princes wear.
From duke to baron, I, the king,
      On them will these confer.

2The water bubbles from the spring,
      And round it grows the cress.
So when the princes see the king,
      Their coming they express
In various ways. Now here I see
Their flags, with dragon blazonry,
      All waving in the wind.
The gentle tinkling of their bells
Comes to my ear, and surely tells
They in their chariots, grandly drawn
By the four steeds of mighty brawn,
      Cannot be far behind. p. 310

3The king soon gets a nearer view.
      The covers red he sees
Upon their knees, of brilliant hue,
      And buskins ’neath the knees.
A grave demeanor all display;
      The Son of Heaven approves.
What to such princes can he say,
      Whose presence rapture moves?
In admiration and delight,
      No grace can he withhold.
To some he grants new honors bright,
      To some confirms the old.

4The oaks their branches wide extend,
      With leaves thick covered o’er,
Which thus the roots and trunk defend,
      And make them thrive the more.
So do these princes service do,
Throughout the land, while they pursue
      The charges to them given.
The various regions well they guard, p. 311
Nor think they any labor hard,
      To aid the Son of Heaven.
All blessings on their heads collect.
      And now to court they've brought
Their ministers who nought neglect,
      Strong both in act and thought.

5The boat is by the rope held fast,
      Lest it should float away;
So round the princes there is cast
      The king's protective stay.
He looks on them with joy intense;
He scans their merits to dispense
      His favors and rewards.
He makes their happiness his charge;
Their territories to enlarge,
      As duty he regards.
To them it is a pleasure rare,
      A happy, joyous time,
When from their states they here repair,
      To see his court sublime.

Next: IV. Chio Kung