The Book of Poetry, tr. by James Legge, , at sacred-texts.com
2See o’er the land Heaven's net of crime!
And lo! in place appear
Men idle, knowing not the time,
Locusts looked at with fear,
Oppressive, perverse, fond of strife!—
Can such as these bring peace and life?
4As when the dry parched grass we see
Wither for want of rain;
As water plants graft on a tree
Cannot their life retain;
So all things now to ruin haste.
Who can their fatal course arrest?
5’Twas merit once that riches gained;
The case how different now!
Troubles through all our time have reigned,
And greater still they grow.
Like grain unhulled those men in place!
Like fine rice these who find no grace!
Ye villains, of yourselves retire!
Why thus prolong my grief and ire?
6Now empty stands and dry the pool;—
No streams into it flow.
The spring is idle, once so full;—
Unfed now from below!
So for those evils all around
Sufficient causes could be found; p. 432
But they increase my anxious care,
Lest I be caught in evil snare.
7When our first kings the throne received,
Such ministers they had
As Chao's great chief, whom all believed.
In one day he would add
A thousand li, from states which came
Our king's protecting care to claim.
Now in one day that space is lost!
Can none the ancient virtue boast?