The Book of Poetry, tr. by James Legge, , at sacred-texts.com
2When you, O king, to kin are cold,
Such coldness rules throughout the land.
You for their teacher all men hold;
To learn your ways needs no command.
3Brethren whose virtue stands the test,
By bad example still unchanged,
Their generous feelings manifest,
Nor grow among themselves estranged.
But if their virtue weakly fails
The evil influence to withstand,
Then selfishness o’er love prevails,
And troubles rise on every hand. p. 313
4When men in disputations fine
To hear their consciences refuse,
Then ’gainst each other they repine,
And each maintains his special views.
If one a place of rank obtain,
And scorn humility to show,
The others view him with disdain,
And, wrangling, all to ruin go.
5A colt the old horse deems himself,
And vainly hastens to the race;
So thinks the mean man, bent on pelf,
Himself fit for the highest place:
Stuffed to the full, he still shall feed,
Nor own that he has had enough.
He drinks, and with insatiate greed,
Knows not the time for leaving off.
6The monkeys by their nature know
The way to climb a tree, untaught.
We need no mud on him to throw,
Whom lying in the mud we've caught.
The nature of all meaner men
Leads them to follow and obey.
Nor right, nor wrong the millions ken,
But imitate the sovereign's way.
7The snow falls fast, and all the ground
Hides with its masses, white and clear;
But when the sunbeams play around,
It soon will melt and disappear. p. 314
This fact, O king, you don't perceive;
Those men who calumnies diffuse,
Not heeding, to themselves you leave,
And your indulgence they abuse.
8Yes, though the snow lie drifted deep,
Away before the heat ’twill flow.
I for the king's neglect must weep;—
Like Man or Mao those men will grow.