The marquis here celebrated was, probably, Shăn, or 'duke Hsî,' mentioned above. The immediate occasion of its composition
must have been some opening or inauguration service in connexion with the repair of the college.
1. Pleasant is the semicircular water 1, And we gather the cress about it. The marquis of Lû is coming to it, And we see his dragon-figured banner. His banner waves in the wind, And the bells of his horses tinkle harmoniously. Small and great, All follow the prince in his progress to it.
2. Pleasant is the semicircular water, And we gather the pondweed in it. The marquis of Lû has come to it, With his horses so stately. His horses are grand; His fame is brilliant. Blandly he looks and smiles; Without any impatience he delivers his instructions.
3. Pleasant is the semicircular water, And we gather the mallows about it. The marquis of Lû has come to it, And in the college he is drinking. He is drinking the good spirits. May there be
given to him such old age as is seldom enjoyed! May he accord with the grand ways, So subduing to himself all the people!
4. Very admirable is the marquis of Lû, Reverently displaying his virtue, And reverently watching over his deportment, The pattern of the people.
With great qualities, both civil and martial, Brilliantly he affects his meritorious ancestors 1. In everything entirely filial, He seeks the blessing that is sure to follow.
5. Very intelligent is the marquis of Lû, Making his virtue illustrious. He has made this college with its semicircle of water, And the tribes of the Hwâi will submit to him 2. His martial-looking tiger-leaders Will here present the left ears (of their foes) 3. His examiners, wise as Kâo-yâo 4 Will here present the prisoners.
6. His numerous officers, Men who have enlarged their virtuous minds, With martial energy conducting their expedition, Will drive far away those tribes of the east and south. Vigorous and
grand, Without noise or display, Without appeal to the judges 1, They will here present (the proofs of) their merit.
7. How they draw their bows adorned with bone! How their arrows whiz forth! Their war chariots are very large! Their footmen and charioteers never weary! They have subdued the tribes of Hwâi, And brought them to an unrebellious submission. Only lay your plans securely, And all the tribes of the Hwâi will be won 2.
8. They come flying on the wing, those owls, And settle on the trees about the college; They eat the fruit of our mulberry trees, And salute us with fine notes 3. So awakened shall be those tribes of the Hwâi. They will come presenting their precious things, Their large tortoises, and their elephants' teeth, And great contributions of the southern metals 4.
338:1 It is said in the tenth ode of the first decade of the Major Odes of the Kingdom, that king Wû in his capital of Hâo built 'his hall with its circlet of water.' That was the royal college built in the middle of a circle of water; each state had its grand college with a semicircular pool in front of it, such is may now be seen in front of the temples of Confucius in the metropolitan cities of the provinces. It is not easy to describe all the purposes which the building served. In this piece the marquis of Lû appears feasting in it, delivering instructions, taking counsel with his ministers, and receiving the spoils and prisoners of war. The Lî Kî, VIII, ii, 7, refers to sacrifices to Hâu-kî in connexion with the college of Lû. There the officers of the state in autumn learned ceremonies; in winter, literary studies; in spring and summer, the use of arms; and in autumn and winter, dancing. There were celebrated trials of archery; there the aged were feasted; there the princes held council with their ministers. The college was in the western suburb of each capital.
339:1 The meaning is that the fine qualities of the marquis 'reached to' and affected his ancestors in their spirit-state, and would draw down their protecting favour. Their blessing, seen in his prosperity, was the natural result of his filial piety.
339:2 The Hwâi rises in the department of Nan-yang, Ho-nan, and flows eastward to the sea. South of it, down to the time of this ode, were many rude and wild tribes that gave frequent occupation to the kings of Kâu.
339:3 When prisoners refused to submit, their left ears were cut off, and shown as trophies.
339:4 The ancient Shun's Minister of Crime. The 'examiners' were officers. who questioned the prisoners, especially the more important of them, to elicit information, and decide as to the amount of their guilt and punishment.
340:1 The 'judges' decided all questions of dispute in the army, and on the merits of different men who had distinguished themselves.
340:2 In this stanza the poet describes a battle with the wild tribes, as if it were going on before his eyes.
340:3 An owl is a bird with a disagreeable scream, instead of a beautiful note; but the mulberries grown about the college would make them sing delightfully. And so would the influence of Lû, going forth from the college, transform the nature of the tribes about the Hwâi.
340:4 That is, according to 'the Tribute of Yü,' in the Shû, from King-kâu and Yang-kâu.