It is allowed that this piece is clearly the composition of a banished son, and there is no necessity to call in question the tradition preserved in the Preface which prefers it to Î-khiû, the eldest son of king Yû. His mother was a princess of the House of Shan; but when Yû became enamoured of Sze of Pâo, the queen was degraded, and the son banished to Shan.
With flapping wings the crows Come back, flying all in a flock 1. Other people are happy, And I only am full of misery. What is my offence against Heaven? What is my crime? My heart is sad; What is to be done?
Even the mulberry trees and the rottleras Must be regarded with reverence 2; But no one is to be looked up to like a father, No one is to be depended on as a mother. Have I not a connexion with the hairs (of my father)? Did I not dwell in the womb (of my mother)? O Heaven, who gave me birth! How was it at so inauspicious a time?
360:1 The sight of the crows, all together, suggests to the prince his own condition, solitary and driven from court.
360:2 The mulberry tree and the rottlera were both planted about the farmsteadings, and are therefore mentioned here. They carried the thoughts back to the father or grandfather, or the more remote ancestor, who first planted them, and so a feeling of reverence attached to themselves.