The mention of the white horses here in the chariot of the visitor sufficiently substantiates the account in the Preface that he was the famous count of Wei, mentioned in the Shû, IV, xi, and whose subsequent investiture with the duchy of Sung, as the representative of the line of the Shang kings, is also related in the Shû, V, viii. With the dynasty of Shang white had been the esteemed and sacred colour, as red was with Kâu, and hence the duke had his carriage drawn by white horses. 'The language,' says one critic, 'is all in praise of the visitor, but it was sung in the temple, and is rightly placed therefore among the Sung.' There is, in the last line, an indication of the temple in it.
The noble visitor! The noble visitor! Drawn, like his ancestors, by white horses! The reverent and dignified, Polished members of his suite!
The noble guest will stay (but) a night or two! The noble guest will stay (but) two nights or four! Give him ropes, To bind his horses 1.
I will convoy him (with a parting feast); I will comfort him in every possible way. Adorned with such great dignity, It is very natural that he should be blessed.
327:1 These four lines simply express the wish of the king, to detain his visitor, from the delight that his presence gave him. Compare the similar language in the second ode of the fourth decade of Part II.