The Book of Poetry, tr. by James Legge, , at sacred-texts.com
2 He, the dark king, ruled with a powerful sway,
Success attendant on his glorious way.
First with a small state charged, then with a large,
He failed not well his duties to discharge.
His rules of conduct he himself obeyed,
And prompt response all to his lessons made.
Next came Hsiang-tu, the prince of ardent soul,
And from Hsia's center, to the four seas’ goal,
Submissively all owned and bowed to his control.
3 God in His favor Shang's house would not leave,
And then T‘ang rose that favor to receive.
T‘ang's birth was not from Ch‘i too far removed.
His sagely reverence daily greater proved.
For long to Heaven his brilliant influence rose,
And while his acts the fear of God disclose,
T‘ang as fit model God for the nine regions chose. p. 484
4 To him gave up the princes, great and small,
The ensigns of their rank; on hint they all,
Like to the pendants of a banner, hung:—
So from indulgent Heaven his greatness sprung!
Tang used no violence, nor was he slow;
Nor hard, nor soft, extremes he did not know.
His royal rules abroad were gently spread;—
All dignities and wealth were gathered round his head.
5 To him from all the states their tribute flowed,
And like a strong steed, he sustained the load.
Such was the favor he received from Heaven!
Proof of his valor through the realm was given.
His steadfast soul ’mid terrors never quailed;
Nor wavered he by troublous doubts assailed;—
On to the sovereign seat he struggled, and prevailed.
6 The martial king aloft his banner reared,
And in the field against his foes appeared.
He grasped his battle-ax with reverent hand;
’Gainst the attack his foes could make no stand. p. 485
His progress was like march of blazing fire;
None could resist the torrent of his ire.
Like root with three shoots was the chiefest fore;—
Advance none made he, and no growth could show.
Of the nine regions Tang possession got;
First with the lords of Wei and Ku he fought,
And then K‘un-wu’s strong chief, and Chieh of Hsia he smote.
7 In the mid time, between Hsiang-tu and T‘ang,
A shaking came, and peril threatened Shang.
But Heaven approved T‘ang as its chosen son,
And gave for minister the great I Yin,—
A-hêng, who for the king a prosperous issue won.