The Book of Poetry, tr. by James Legge, , at sacred-texts.com
2Luxuriant grow the willow trees;
Beneath their shade one often sees
Large crowds at ease reclined.
So should the king his grace extend,
And to his court the princes bend
Their steps with willing mind.
But he, whom as a god we viewed,
Is so uncertain in his mood,
That they dare not appear.
For me I should but court distress,
If I alone were to address
Myself to take his cares in hand;
He would so much of me demand,
I'd live in constant fear.
3The birds now on the trees alight,
Then spread their wings in sudden flight,
And soar aloft to heaven;
So does the king his purpose change,
From one thing to another range,
As by his fancies driven.
His heart we cannot fathom well,
Nor can we any moment tell
To what he will proceed.
The task why should I undertake,
And vainly the endeavor make,
His grievous troubles to redress?
’Twould only cause me sore distress,
And to my misery lead.