Shun also used the same language in handing down the appointment to Yu.
The Emperor T'ang in his prayer, said, "I, the child Li, presume to avail me of an ox of dusky hue, and presume to manifestly announce to Thee, O God, the most high and Sovereign Potentate, that to the transgressor I dare not grant forgiveness, nor yet keep in abeyance Thy ministers. Judgment rests in Thine heart, O God. Should we ourself transgress, may the guilt not be visited everywhere upon all. Should the people all transgress, be the guilt upon ourself!"
Chow possessed great gifts, by which the able and good were richly endowed.
"Although," said King Wu, "he is surrounded by his near relatives, they are not to be compared with men of humane spirit. The people are suffering wrongs, and the remedy rests with me—the one man."
After Wu had given diligent attention to the various weights and measures, examined the laws and regulations, and restored the degraded officials, good government everywhere ensued.
He caused ruined States to flourish again, reinstated intercepted heirs, and promoted to office men who had gone into retirement; and the hearts of the people throughout the empire drew towards him.
Among matters of prime consideration with him were these—food for the people, the duty of mourning, and sacrificial offerings to the departed.
He was liberal and large-hearted, and so won all hearts; true, and so was trusted by the people; energetic, and thus became a man of great achievements; just in his rule, and all were well content.
Tsz-chang in a conversation with Confucius asked, "What say you is essential for the proper conduct of government?"
The Master replied, "Let the ruler hold in high estimation the five excellences, and eschew the four evils; then may he conduct his government properly."
"And what call you the five excellences?" he was asked.
"They are," he said, "Bounty without extravagance; burdening without exciting discontent; desire without covetousness; dignity without haughtiness; show of majesty without fierceness."
"What mean you," asked Tsz-chang, "by bounty without extravagance?"
"Is it not this," he replied—"to make that which is of benefit to the people still more beneficial? When he selects for them such labors as it is possible for them to do, and exacts them, who will then complain? So when his desire is the virtue of humaneness, and he attains it, how shall he then be covetous? And if—whether he have to do with few or with many, with small or with great—he do not venture ever to be careless, is not this also to have dignity without haughtiness? And if—when properly vested in robe and cap, and showing dignity in his every look—his appearance be so imposing that the people look up to and stand in awe of him, is not this moreover to show majesty without fierceness?"
"What, then, do you call the four evils?" said Tsz-chang.
The answer here was, "Omitting to instruct the people and then inflicting capital punishment on them—which means cruel tyranny. Omitting to give them warning and yet looking for perfection in them—which means oppression. Being slow and late in issuing requisitions, and exacting strict punctuality in the returns—which means robbery. And likewise, in intercourse with men, to expend and to receive in a stingy manner—which is to act the part of a mere commissioner."
"None can be a superior man," said the Master, "who does not recognize the decrees of Heaven.
"None can have stability in him without a knowledge of the proprieties.
"None can know a man without knowing his utterances."
THE SAYINGS OF MENICUS
[Translated into English by James Legge_]
A hundred years after the time of Confucius the Chinese nation seemed to have fallen back into their original condition of lawlessness and oppression. The King's power and authority was laughed to scorn, the people were pillaged by the feudal nobility, and famine reigned in many districts. The foundations of truth and social order seemed to be overthrown. There were teachers of immorality abroad, who published the old Epicurean doctrine, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." This teaching was accompanied by a spirit of cold-blooded egotism which extinguished every spark of Confucian altruism. Even the pretended disciples of Confucius confused the precepts of the Master, and by stripping them of their narrow significance rendered them nugatory. It was at this point that Mang-tsze, "Mang the philosopher," arose. He was sturdy in bodily frame, vigorous in mind, profound in political sagacity and utterly fearless in denouncing the errors of his countrymen. He had been brought up among the disciples of Confucius, in whose province he was born B.C. 372, but he was much more active and aggressive, less a Mystic than a fanatic, in comparison! with his Master. He resolved on active measures in stemming the tendency of his day. He did indeed surround himself with a school of disciples, but instead of making a series of desultory travels, teaching in remote places and along the high-road, he went to the heart of the evil. He presented himself like a second John the Baptist at the courts of kings and princes, and there boldly denounced vice and misrule. It was not difficult for a Chinese scholar and teacher to find access to the highest of the land. The Chinese believed in the divine right of learning, just as they believed in the divine right of kings. Mang employed every weapon of persuasion in trying to combat heresy and oppression; alternately ridiculing and reproving: now appealing in a burst of moral enthusiasm, and now denouncing in terms of cutting sarcasm the abuses which after all he failed to check. The last prince whom he successfully confronted was the Marquis of Lu, who turned him carelessly away. He accepted this as the Divine sentence of his failure, "That I have not found in this marquis, a ruler who would hearken to me is an intimation of heaven." Henceforth he lived in retirement until his ninety-seventh year; but from his apparent failure sprang a practical success. His written teachings are amongst the most lively and epigrammatic works of Chinese literature, have done much to keep alive amongst his countrymen the spirit of Confucianism, and even Western readers may drink wisdom from this spring of Oriental lore. The following selections from his sayings well exhibit the spirit of his system of philosophy and morality.
THE SAYINGS OF MENCIUS
KING HWUY OF LEANG
Mencius went to see King Hwuy of Leang.  The king said, "Venerable Sir, since you have not counted it far to come here a distance of a thousand li, may I presume that you are likewise provided with counsels to profit my kingdom?" Mencius replied, "Why must your Majesty used that word 'profit'? What I am likewise provided with are counsels to benevolence and righteousness; and these are my only topics.
"If your Majesty say, 'What is to be done to profit my kingdom?' the great officers will say, 'What is to be done to profit our families?' and the inferior officers and the common people will say, 'What is to be done to profit our persons?' Superiors and inferiors will try to take the profit the one from the other, and the kingdom will be endangered. In the kingdom of ten thousand chariots, the murderer of his ruler will be the chief of a family of a thousand chariots. In the State of a thousand chariots, the murderer of his ruler will be the chief of a family of a hundred chariots. To have a thousand in ten thousand, and a hundred in a thousand, cannot be regarded as not a large allowance; but if righteousness be put last and profit first, they will not be satisfied without snatching all.
"There never was a man trained to benevolence who neglected his parents. There never was a man trained to righteousness who made his ruler an after consideration. Let your Majesty likewise make benevolence and righteousness your only themes—Why must you speak of profit?"
When Mencius, another day, was seeing King Hwuy of Leang, the King went and stood with him by a pond, and, looking round on the wild geese and deer, large and small, said, "Do wise and good princes also take pleasure in these things?" Mencius replied, "Being wise and good, they then have pleasure in these things. If they are not wise and good, though they have these things, they do not find pleasure." It is said in the 'Book of Poetry':—
'When he planned the commencement of the Marvellous tower, He planned it, and defined it, And the people in crowds undertook the work, And in no time completed it. When he planned the commencement, he said, "Be not in a hurry." But the people came as if they were his children. The king was in the Marvellous park, Where the does were lying down— The does so sleek and fat; With the white birds glistening. The king was by the Marvellous pond;— How full was it of fishes leaping about!'
King Wan used the strength of the people to make his tower and pond, and the people rejoiced to do the work, calling the tower 'the Marvellous Tower,' and the pond 'the Marvellous Pond,' and being glad that he had his deer, his fishes and turtles. The ancients caused their people to have pleasure as well as themselves, and therefore they could enjoy it.
"In the Declaration of T'ang it is said, 'O Sun, when wilt thou expire? We will die together with thee.' The people wished for Keeh's death, though they should die with him. Although he had his tower, his pond, birds and animals, how could he have pleasure alone?"
King Hwuy of Leang said, "Small as my virtue is, in the government of my kingdom, I do indeed exert my mind to the utmost. If the year be bad inside the Ho, I remove as many of the people as I can to the east of it, and convey grain to the country inside. If the year be bad on the east of the river, I act on the same plan. On examining the governmental methods of the neighboring kingdoms, I do not find there is any ruler who exerts his mind as I do. And yet the people of the neighboring kings do not decrease, nor do my people increase—how is this?"
Mencius replied, "Your Majesty loves war; allow me to take an illustration from war. The soldiers move forward at the sound of the drum; and when the edges of their weapons have been crossed, on one side, they throw away their buff coats, trail their weapons behind them, and run. Some run a hundred paces and then stop; some run fifty paces and stop. What would you think if these, because they had run but fifty paces, should laugh at those who ran a hundred paces?" The king said, "They cannot do so. They only did not run a hundred paces; but they also ran." Mencius said, "Since your Majesty knows this you have no ground to expect that your people will become more numerous than those of the neighboring kingdoms.
"If the seasons of husbandry be not interfered with, the grain will be more than can be eaten. If close nets are not allowed to enter the pools and ponds, the fish and turtles will be more than can be consumed. If the axes and bills enter the hill-forests only at the proper times, the wood will be more than can be used. When the grain and fish and turtles are more than can be eaten, and there is more wood than can be used, this enables the people to nourish their living and do all offices for their dead, without any feeling against any. But this condition, in which the people nourish their living, and do all offices to their dead without having any feeling against any, is the first step in the Royal way.
"Let mulberry trees be planted about the homesteads with their five acres, and persons of fifty years will be able to wear silk. In keeping fowls, pigs, dogs, and swine, let not their time of breeding be neglected, and persons of seventy years will be able to eat flesh. Let there not be taken away the time that is proper for the cultivation of the field allotment of a hundred acres, and the family of several mouths will not suffer from hunger. Let careful attention be paid to the teaching in the various schools, with repeated inculcation of the filial and fraternal duties, and gray-haired men will not be seen upon the roads, carrying burdens on their backs or on their heads. It has never been that the ruler of a State where these results were seen, persons of seventy wearing silk and eating flesh, and the black-haired people suffering neither from hunger nor cold, did not attain to the Royal dignity.
"Your dogs and swine eat the food of men, and you do not know to store up of the abundance. There are people dying from famine on the roads, and you do not know to issue your stores for their relief. When men die, you say, 'It is not owing to me; it is owing to the year,' In what does this differ from stabbing a man and killing him, and then saying, 'It was not I; it was the weapon'? Let your Majesty cease to lay the blame on the year and instantly the people, all under the sky, will come to you."
King Hwuy of Leang said, "I wish quietly to receive your instructions." Mencius replied, "Is there any difference between killing a man with a stick and with a sword?" "There is no difference," was the answer.
Mencius continued, "Is there any difference between doing it with a sword and with governmental measures?" "There is not," was the answer again.
Mencius then said, "In your stalls there are fat beasts; in your stables there are fat horses. But your people have the look of hunger, and in the fields there are those who have died of famine. This is leading on beasts to devour men. Beasts devour one another, and men hate them for doing so. When he who is called the parent of the people conducts his government so as to be chargeable with leading on beasts to devour men, where is that parental relation to the people? Chung-ne said, 'Was he not without posterity who first made wooden images to bury with the dead?' So he said, because that man made the semblances of men and used them for that purpose; what shall be thought of him who causes his people to die of hunger?"
King Hwuy of Leang said, "There was not in the kingdom a stronger State than Ts'in, as you, venerable Sir, know. But since it descended to me, on the east we were defeated by Ts'e, and then my eldest son perished; on the west we lost seven hundred li of territory to Ts'in; and on the south we have sustained disgrace at the hands of Ts'oo. I have brought shame on my departed predecessors, and wish on their account to wipe it away once for all. What course is to be pursued to accomplish this?"
Mencius replied, "With a territory only a hundred li square it has been possible to obtain the Royal dignity. If your Majesty will indeed dispense a benevolent government to the people, being sparing in the use of punishments and fines, and making the taxes and levies of produce light, so causing that the fields shall be ploughed deep, and the weeding well attended to, and that the able-bodied, during their days of leisure, shall cultivate their filial piety, fraternal duty, faithfulness, and truth, serving thereby, at home, their fathers and elder brothers, and, abroad, their elders and superiors, you will then have a people who can be employed with sticks which they have prepared to oppose the strong buff-coats and sharp weapons of the troops of Ts'in and Ts'oo.
"The rulers of those States rob their people of their time, so that they cannot plough and weed their fields in order to support their parents. Parents suffer from cold and hunger; elder and younger brothers, wives and children, are separated and scattered abroad. Those rulers drive their people into pitfalls or into the water; and your Majesty will go to punish them. In such a case, who will oppose your Majesty? In accordance with this is the saying, 'The benevolent has no enemy!' I beg your Majesty not to doubt what I said."
Mencius had an interview with King Seang of Leang. When he came out he said to some persons, "When I looked at him from a distance, he did not appear like a ruler; when I drew near to him, I saw nothing venerable about him. Abruptly he asked me, 'How can the kingdom, all under the sky, be settled?' I replied, 'It will be settled by being united under one sway,'
"'Who can so unite it?' he asked.
"I replied, 'He who has no pleasure in killing men can so unite it.'
"'Who can give it to him?' he asked.
"I replied, 'All under heaven will give it to him. Does your Majesty know the way of the growing grain? During the seventh and eighth months, when drought prevails, the plants become dry. Then the clouds collect densely in the heavens, and send down torrents of rain, so that the grain erects itself as if by a shoot. When it does so, who can keep it back? Now among those who are shepherds of men throughout the kingdom, there is not one who does not find pleasure in killing men. If there were one who did not find pleasure in killing men, all the people under the sky would be looking towards him with outstretched necks. Such being indeed the case, the people would go to him as water flows downwards with a rush, which no one can repress."
King Seuen of Ts'e asked, saying, "May I be informed by you of the transactions of Hwan of Ts'e and Wan of Ts'in?"
Mencius replied, "There were none of the disciples of Chung-ne who spoke about the affairs of Hwan and Wan, and therefore they have not been transmitted to these after-ages; your servant has not heard of them. If you will have me speak, let it be about the principles of attaining to the Royal sway."
The king said, "Of what kind must his virtue be who can attain to the Royal sway?" Mencius said, "If he loves and protects the people, it is impossible to prevent him from attaining it."
The king said, "Is such an one as poor I competent to love and protect the people?" "Yes," was the reply. "From what do you know that I am competent to that?" "I have heard," said Mencius, "from Hoo Heih the following incident:—'The king,' said he, 'was sitting aloft in the hall, when some people appeared leading a bull past below it. The king saw it, and asked where the bull was going, and being answered that they were going to consecrate a bell with its blood, he said, "Let it go, I cannot bear its frightened appearance—as if it were an innocent person going to the place of death." They asked in reply whether, if they did so, they should omit the consecration of the bell, but the king said, "How can that be omitted? Change it for a sheep."' I do not know whether this incident occurred."
"It did," said the king, and Mencius replied, "The heart seen in this is sufficient to carry you to the Royal sway. The people all supposed that your Majesty grudged the animal, but your servant knows surely that it was your Majesty's not being able to bear the sight of the creature's distress which made you do as you did."
The king said, "You are right; and yet there really was an appearance of what the people imagined. But though Ts'e be narrow and small, how should I grudge a bull? Indeed it was because I could not bear its frightened appearance, as if it were an innocent person going to the place of death, that therefore I changed it for a sheep."
Mencius said, "Let not your Majesty deem it strange that the people should think you grudged the animal. When you changed a large one for a small, how should they know the true reason? If you felt pained by its being led without any guilt to the place of death, what was there to choose between a bull and a sheep?" The king laughed and said, "What really was my mind in the matter? I did not grudge the value of the bull, and yet I changed it for a sheep! There was reason in the people's saying that I grudged the creature."
Mencius said, "There is no harm in their saying so. It was an artifice of benevolence. You saw the bull, and had not seen the sheep. So is the superior man affected towards animals, that, having seen them alive, he cannot bear to see them die, and, having heard their dying cries, he cannot bear to eat their flesh. On this account he keeps away from his stalls and kitchen."
The king was pleased and said, "The Ode says,
'What other men have in their minds, I can measure by reflection,'
This might be spoken of you, my Master. I indeed did the thing, but when I turned my thoughts inward and sought for it, I could not discover my own mind. When you, Master, spoke those words, the movements of compassion began to work in my mind. But how is it that this heart has in it what is equal to the attainment of the Royal sway?"
Mencius said, "Suppose a man were to make this statement to your Majesty, 'My strength is sufficient to lift three thousand catties, but is not sufficient to lift one feather; my eyesight is sharp enough to examine the point of an autumn hair, but I do not see a wagon-load of fagots,' would your Majesty allow what he said?" "No," was the king's remark, and Mencius proceeded, "Now here is kindness sufficient to reach to animals, and yet no benefits are extended from it to the people—how is this? is an exception to be made here? The truth is, the feather's not being lifted is because the strength was not used; the wagon-load of firewood's not being seen is because the eyesight was not used; and the people's not being loved and protected is because the kindness is not used. Therefore your Majesty's not attaining to the Royal sway is because you do not do it, and not because you are not able to do it."
The king asked, "How may the difference between him who does not do a thing and him who is not able to do it be graphically set forth?" Mencius replied, "In such a thing as taking the T'ae mountain under your arm, and leaping with it over the North Sea, if you say to people, 'I am not able to do it,' that is a real case of not being able. In such a matter as breaking off a branch from a tree at the order of a superior, if you say to people, 'I am not able to do it,' it is not a case of not being able to do it. And so your Majesty's not attaining to the Royal sway is not such a case as that of taking the T'ae mountain under your arm and leaping over the North Sea with it; but it is a case like that of breaking off a branch from a tree.
"Treat with reverence due to age the elders in your own family, so that those in the families of others shall be similarly treated; treat with the kindness due to youth the young in your own family, so that those in the families of others shall be similarly treated—do this and the kingdom may be made to go round in your palm. It is said in the 'Book of Poetry,'
'His example acted on his wife, Extended to his brethren, And was felt by all the clans and States;'
Telling us how King Wan simply took this kindly heart, and exercised it towards those parties. Therefore the carrying out of the feeling of kindness by a ruler will suffice for the love and protection of all within the four seas; and if he do not carry it out, he will not be able to protect his wife and children. The way in which the ancients came greatly to surpass other men was no other than this, that they carried out well what they did, so as to affect others. Now your kindness is sufficient to reach to animals, and yet no benefits are extended from it to the people. How is this? Is an exception to be made here?
"By weighing we know what things are light, and what heavy. By measuring we know what things are long, and what short. All things are so dealt with, and the mind requires specially to be so. I beg your Majesty to measure it.—Your Majesty collects your equipments of war, endangers your soldiers and officers and excites the resentment of the various princes—do these things cause you pleasure in your mind?"
The king said, "No. How should I derive pleasure from these things? My object in them is to seek for what I greatly desire."
Mencius said, "May I hear from you what it is that your Majesty greatly desires?" The king laughed, and did not speak. Mencius resumed, "Are you led to desire it because you have not enough of rich and sweet food for your mouth? or because you have not enough of light and warm clothing for your body? or because you have not enough of beautifully colored objects to satisfy your eyes? or because there are not voices and sounds enough to fill your ears? or because you have not enough of attendants and favorites to stand before you and receive your orders? Your Majesty's various officers are sufficient to supply you with all these things. How can your Majesty have such a desire on account of them?" "No," said the king, "my desire is not on account of them." Mencius observed, "Then what your Majesty greatly desires can be known. You desire to enlarge your territories, to have Ts'in and Ts'oo coming to your court, to rule the Middle States, and to attract to you the barbarous tribes that surround them. But to do what you do in order to seek for what you desire is like climbing a tree to seek for fish."
"Is it so bad as that?" said the king. "I apprehend it is worse," was the reply. "If you climb a tree to seek for fish, although you do not get the fish, you have no subsequent calamity. But if you do what you do in order to seek for what you desire, doing it even with all your heart, you will assuredly afterwards meet with calamities." The king said, "May I hear what they will be?" Mencius replied, "If the people of Tsow were fighting with the people of Ts'oo, which of them does your Majesty think would conquer?" "The people of Ts'oo would conquer," was the answer, and Mencius pursued, "So then, a small State cannot contend with a great, few cannot contend with many, nor can the weak contend with the strong. The territory within the seas would embrace nine divisions, each of a thousand li square. All Ts'e together is one of them. If with one part you try to subdue the other eight, what is the difference between that and Tsow's contending with Ts'oo? With the desire which you have, you must turn back to the proper course for its attainment.
"Now, if your Majesty will institute a government whose action shall all be benevolent, this will cause all the officers in the kingdom to wish to stand in your Majesty's court, the farmers all to wish to plough in your Majesty's fields, the merchants, both travelling and stationary, all to wish to store their goods in your Majesty's market-places, travellers and visitors all to wish to travel on your Majesty's roads, and all under heaven who feel aggrieved by their rulers to wish to come and complain to your Majesty. When they are so bent, who will be able to keep them back?"
The king said, "I am stupid and cannot advance to this. But I wish you, my Master, to assist my intentions. Teach me clearly, and although I am deficient in intelligence and vigor, I should like to try at least to institute such a government."
Mencius replied, "They are only men of education, who, without a certain livelihood, are able to maintain a fixed heart. As to the people, if they have not a certain livelihood, they will be found not to have a fixed heart. And if they have not a fixed heart, there is nothing which they will not do in the way of self-abandonment, of moral deflection, of depravity, and of wild license. When they have thus been involved in crime, to follow them up and punish them, is to entrap the people. How can such a thing as entrapping the people be done under the rule of a benevolent man?"
"Therefore, an intelligent ruler will regulate the livelihood of the people, so as to make sure that, above, they shall have sufficient wherewith to serve their parents, and below, sufficient wherewith to support their wives and children; that in good years they shall always be abundantly satisfied, and that in bad years they shall not be in danger of perishing. After this he may urge them, and they will proceed to what is good, for in this case the people will follow after that with readiness.
"But now the livelihood of the people is so regulated, that, above, they have not sufficient wherewith to serve their parents, and, below, they have not sufficient wherewith to support their wives and children; even in good years their lives are always embittered, and in bad years they are in danger of perishing. In such circumstances their only object is to escape from death, and they are afraid they will not succeed in doing so—what leisure have they to cultivate propriety and righteousness?
"If your Majesty wishes to carry out a benevolent government, why not turn back to what is the essential step to its attainment?
"Let mulberry trees be planted about the homesteads with their five acres, and persons of fifty years will be able to wear silk. In keeping fowls, pigs, dogs, and swine, let not their times of breeding be neglected, and persons of seventy years will be able to eat flesh. Let there not be taken away the time that is proper for the cultivation of the field-allotment of a hundred acres, and the family of eight mouths will not suffer from hunger. Let careful attention be paid to the teaching in the various schools, with repeated inculcation of the filial and fraternal duties, and gray-haired men will not be seen upon the roads, carrying burdens on their backs or on their heads. It has never been that the ruler of a State, where these results were seen, the old wearing silk and eating flesh, and the black-haired people suffering neither from hunger nor cold, did not attain to the Royal dignity."
[NOTE: Books II, III, and IV are omitted]
[Footnote 1: The title of this book in Chinese is—"King Hwuy of Leang; in chapters and sentences." Like the Books of the Confucian Analects, those of this work are headed by two or three words at or near the commencement of them. Each Book is divided into two parts. This arrangement was made by Chaou K'e, and to him are due also the divisions into chapters, and sentences, or paragraphs, containing, it may be, many sentences.]
[Footnote 2: Seang was the son of King Hwuy. The first year of his reign is supposed to be B.C. 317. Seang's name was Hih. As a posthumous epithet, Seang has various meanings: "Land-enlarger and Virtuous"; "Successful in Arms." The interview here recorded seems to have taken place immediately after Hih's accession, and Mencius, it is said, was so disappointed by it that he soon after left the country.]
[Metrical translation by James Legge]
The wisdom of Confucius as a social reformer, as a teacher and guide of the Chinese people, is shown in many ways. He not only gave them a code of personal deportment, providing them with rules for the etiquette and ceremony of life, but he instilled into them that profound spirit of domestic piety which is one of the strongest features in the Chinese character. He took measures to secure also the intellectual cultivation of his followers, and his Five Canons contain all the most ancient works of Chinese literature, in the departments of poetry, history, philosophy, and legislation. The Shi-King is a collection of Chinese poetry made by Confucius himself. This great anthology consists of more than three hundred pieces, covering the whole range of Chinese lyric poetry, the oldest of which dates some eighteen centuries before Christ, while the latest of the selections must have been written at the beginning of the sixth century before Christ. These poems are of the highest interest, and even nowadays may be read with delight by Europeans. The ballad and the hymn are among the earliest forms of national poetry, and the contents of the Shi-King naturally show specimens of lyric poetry of this sort. We find there not only hymns, but also ballads of a really fine and spirited character. Sometimes the poems celebrate the common pursuits, occupations, and incidents of life. They rise to the exaltation of the epithalamium, or of the vintage song; at other times they deal with sentiment and human conduct, being in the highest degree sententious and epigrammatic. We must give the credit to Confucius of having saved for us the literature of China, and of having set his people an example in preserving the monuments of a remote antiquity. While the literatures of ancient Greece and Rome have largely perished in the convulsions that followed the breaking up of the Roman empire in Europe, when the kingdom of China fell into disorder and decrepitude this one great teacher stepped forward to save the precious record of historic fact, philosophical thought, and of legislation as well as poetry, from being swept away by the deluge of revolution. Confucius showed his wisdom by the high value he set upon the poetry of his native land, and his name must be set side by side with that of the astute tyrant of Athens who collected the poems of Homer and preserved them as a precious heritage to the Greek world. Confucius has given us his opinion with regard to the poems of the Shi-King. No man, he says, is worth speaking to who has not mastered the poems of an anthology, the perusal of which elevates the mind and purifies it from all corrupt thoughts. Thanks to the work of modern scholarship, English readers can now verify this dictum for themselves.
PART I—LESSONS FROM THE STATES
THE ODES OF CHOW AND THE SOUTH
Celebrating the Virtue of King Wan's Bride
Hark! from the islet in the stream the voice Of the fish-hawks that o'er their nests rejoice! From them our thoughts to that young lady go, Modest and virtuous, loth herself to show. Where could be found to share our prince's state, So fair, so virtuous, and so fit a mate?
See how the duckweed's stalks, or short or long, Sway left and right, as moves the current strong! So hard it was for him the maid to find! By day, by night, our prince with constant mind Sought for her long, but all his search was vain. Awake, asleep, he ever felt the pain Of longing thought, as when on restless bed, Tossing about, one turns his fevered head.
Here long, there short, afloat the duckweed lies; But caught at last, we seize the longed-for prize. The maiden modest, virtuous, coy, is found; Strike every lute, and joyous welcome sound. Ours now, the duckweed from the stream we bear, And cook to use with other viands rare. He has the maiden, modest, virtuous, bright; Let bells and drums proclaim our great delight
Celebrating the Industry of King Wan's Queen
Sweet was the scene. The spreading dolichos Extended far, down to the valley's depths, With leaves luxuriant. The orioles Fluttered around, and on the bushy trees In throngs collected—whence their pleasant notes Resounded far in richest melody.
The spreading dolichos extended far, Covering the valley's sides, down to its depths, With leaves luxuriant and dense. I cut It down, then boiled, and from the fibres spun Of cloth, both fine and coarse, large store, To wear, unwearied of such simple dress.
Now back to my old home, my parents dear To see, I go. The matron I have told, Who will announcement make. Meanwhile my clothes, My private clothes I wash, and rinse my robes. Which of them need be rinsed? and which need not? My parents dear to visit, back I go.
In Praise of a Bride
Graceful and young the peach-tree stands; How rich its flowers, all gleaming bright! This bride to her new home repairs; Chamber and house she'll order right.
Graceful and young the peach-tree stands; Large crops of fruit it soon will show. This bride to her new home repairs; Chamber and house her sway shall know.
Graceful and young the peach-tree stands, Its foliage clustering green and full. This bride to her new home repairs; Her household will attest her rule.
Celebrating T'ae-Sze's Freedom from Jealousy
In the South are the trees whose branches are bent, And droop in such fashion that o'er their extent All the dolichos' creepers fast cling. See our princely lady, from whom we have got Rejoicing that's endless! May her happy lot And her honors repose ever bring!
In the South are the trees whose branches are bent, And droop in such fashion that o'er their extent All the dolichos' creepers are spread. See our princely lady, from whom we have got Rejoicing that's endless! Of her happy lot And her honors the greatness ne'er fade!
In the South are the trees whose branches are bent, And droop in such fashion that o'er their extent All the dolichos' creepers entwine. See our princely lady, from whom we have got Rejoicing that's endless! May her happy lot And her honors complete ever shine!
The Fruitfulness of the Locust
Ye locusts, winged tribes, Gather in concord fine; Well your descendants may In numerous bright hosts shine!
Ye locusts, winged tribes, Your wings in flight resound; Well your descendants may In endless lines be found!
Ye locusts, winged tribes, Together cluster strong; Well your descendants may In swarms forever throng!
Lamenting the Absence of a Cherished Friend
Though small my basket, all my toil Filled it with mouse-ears but in part. I set it on the path, and sighed For the dear master of my heart.
My steeds, o'er-tasked, their progress stayed, When midway up that rocky height. Give me a cup from that gilt vase— When shall this longing end in sight?
To mount that lofty ridge I drove, Until my steeds all changed their hue. A cup from that rhinoceros's horn May help my longing to subdue.
Striving to reach that flat-topped hill, My steeds, worn out, relaxed their strain; My driver also sank oppressed:— I'll never see my lord again!
Celebrating the Goodness of the Descendants of King Wan
As the feet of the lin, which avoid each living thing, So our prince's noble sons no harm to men will bring. They are the lin!
As the front of the lin, never forward thrust in wrath, So our prince's noble grandsons of love tread the path. They are the lin!
As the horn of the lin, flesh-tipped, no wound to give, So our prince's noble kindred kindly with all live. They are the lin!
[NOTE.—The "lin" is the female of "K'e"—a fabulous animal—the symbol of all goodness and benevolence; having the body of a deer, the tail of an ox, the hoofs of a horse, one horn, the scales of a fish, etc. Its feet do not tread on any living thing—not even on live grass; it does not butt with its forehead; and the end of its horn is covered with flesh—to show that, while able for war, it wills to have peace. The "lin" was supposed to appear inaugurating a golden age, but the poet finds a better auspice of that in the character of Wan's family and kindred.]
The Virtuous Manners of the Young Women
High and compressed, the Southern trees No shelter from the sun afford. The girls free ramble by the Han, But will not hear enticing word. Like the broad Han are they, Through which one cannot dive; And like the Keang's long stream, Wherewith no raft can strive.
Many the fagots bound and piled; The thorns I'd hew still more to make. As brides, those girls their new homes seek; Their colts to feed I'd undertake. Like the broad Han are they, Through which one cannot dive; And like the Keang's long stream, Wherewith no raft can strive.
Many the fagots bound and piled; The Southern-wood I'd cut for more. As brides, those girls their new homes seek; Food for their colts I'd bring large store. Like the broad Han are they, Through which one cannot dive; And like the Keang's long stream, Wherewith no raft can strive.
Praise of a Rabbit-Catcher
Careful he sets his rabbit-nets all round; Chang-chang his blows upon the pegs resound. Stalwart the man and bold! his bearing all Shows he might be his prince's shield and wall.
Careful he is his rabbit-nets to place Where many paths of rabbits' feet bear trace. Stalwart the man and bold! 'tis plain to see He to his prince companion good would be.
Careful he is his rabbit-nets to spread, Where in the forest's depth the trees give shade. Stalwart the man and bold! fit his the part Guide to his prince to be, and faithful heart.
The Song of the Plantain-Gatherers
We gather and gather the plantains; Come gather them anyhow. Yes, gather and gather the plantains, And here we have got them now.
We gather and gather the plantains; Now off the ears we must tear. Yes, gather and gather the plantains, And now the seeds are laid bare.
We gather and gather the plantains, The seeds in our skirts are placed. Yes, gather and gather the plantains. Ho! safe in the girdled waist!
The Affection of the Wives on the Joo
Along the raised banks of the Joo, To hew slim stem and branch I wrought, My lord away, my husband true, Like hunger-pang my troubled thought!
Along the raised banks of the Joo, Branch and fresh shoot confessed my art. I've seen my lord, my husband true, And still he folds me in his heart.
As the toiled bream makes red its tail, Toil you, Sir, for the Royal House; Amidst its blazing fires, nor quail:— Your parents see you pay your vows.
THE ODES OF SHAOU AND THE SOUTH
The Marriage of a Princess
In the magpie's nest Dwells the dove at rest. This young bride goes to her future home; To meet her a hundred chariots come.
Of the magpie's nest Is the dove possessed. This bride goes to her new home to live; And escort a hundred chariots give.
The nest magpie wove Now filled by the dove. This bride now takes to her home her way; And these numerous cars her state display.
The Industry and Reverence of a Prince's Wife
Around the pools, the islets o'er, Fast she plucks white Southern-wood, To help the sacrificial store; And for our prince does service good.
Where streams among the valleys shine, Of Southern-woods she plucks the white; And brings it to the sacred shrine, To aid our prince in solemn rite.
In head-dress high, most reverent, she The temple seeks at early dawn. The service o'er, the head-dress see To her own chamber slow withdrawn.
The Wife of Some Great Officer Bewails His Absence
Shrill chirp the insects in the grass; All about the hoppers spring. While I my husband do not see, Sorrow must my bosom wring. O to meet him! O to greet him! Then my heart would rest and sing.
Ascending high that Southern hill, Turtle ferns I strove to get. While I my husband do not see, Sorrow must my heart beset. O to meet him! O to greet him! Then my heart would cease to fret.
Ascending high that Southern hill, Spinous ferns I sought to find. While I my husband do not see, Rankles sorrow in my mind. O to meet him! O to greet him! In my heart would peace be shrined.
The Diligence of the Young Wife of an Officer
She gathers fast the large duckweed, From valley stream that southward flows; And for the pondweed to the pools Left on the plains by floods she goes.
The plants, when closed her toil, she puts In baskets round and baskets square. Then home she hies to cook her spoil, In pans and tripods ready there.
In sacred chamber this she sets, Where the light falls down through the wall. 'Tis she, our lord's young reverent wife, Who manages this service all.
The Love of the People for the Duke of Shaou
O fell not that sweet pear-tree! See how its branches spread. Spoil not its shade, For Shaou's chief laid Beneath it his weary head.
O clip not that sweet pear-tree! Each twig and leaflet spare. 'Tis sacred now, Since the lord of Shaou, When weary, rested him there.
O touch not that sweet pear-tree! Bend not a twig of it now. There long ago, As the stories show, Oft halted the chief of Shaou.
The Easy Dignity of the Officers at Some Court
Arrayed in skins of lamb or sheep, With five silk braidings all of white, From court they go, to take their meal, All self-possessed, with spirits light.
How on their skins of lamb or sheep The five seams wrought with white silk show! With easy steps, and self-possessed, From court to take their meal, they go.
Upon their skins of lamb or sheep Shines the white silk the seams to link. With easy steps and self-possessed, They go from court to eat and drink.
Anxiety of a Young Lady to Get Married
Ripe, the plums fall from the bough; Only seven-tenths left there now! Ye whose hearts on me are set, Now the time is fortunate!
Ripe, the plums fall from the bough; Only three-tenths left there now! Ye who wish my love to gain, Will not now apply in vain!
No more plums upon the bough! All are in my basket now! Ye who me with ardor seek, Need the word but freely speak!
THE ODES OF P'EI
An Officer Bewails the Neglect with which He is Treated
It floats about, that boat of cypress wood, Now here, now there, as by the current borne. Nor rest nor sleep comes in my troubled mood; I suffer as when painful wound has torn The shrinking body. Thus I dwell forlorn, And aimless muse, my thoughts of sorrow full. I might with wine refresh my spirit worn; I might go forth, and, sauntering try to cool The fever of my heart; but grief holds sullen rule.
My mind resembles not a mirror plate, Reflecting all the impressions it receives. The good I love, the bad regard with hate; I only cherish whom my heart believes. Colleagues I have, but yet my spirit grieves, That on their honor I cannot depend. I speak, but my complaint no influence leaves Upon their hearts; with mine no feelings blend; With me in anger they, and fierce disdain contend.
My mind is fixed, and cannot, like a stone, Be turned at will indifferently about; And what I think, to that, and that alone, I utterance give, alike within, without; Nor can like mat be rolled and carried out. With dignity in presence of them all, My conduct marked, my goodness who shall scout? My foes I boldly challenge, great and small, If there be aught in me they can in question call.
How full of trouble is my anxious heart! With hate the blatant herd of creatures mean Ceaseless pursue. Of their attacks the smart Keeps my mind in distress. Their venomed spleen Aye vents itself; and with insulting mien They vex my soul; and no one on my side A word will speak. Silent, alone, unseen, I think of my sad case; then opening wide My eyes, as if from sleep, I beat my breast, sore-tried.
Thy disc, O sun, should ever be complete, While thine, O changing moon, doth wax and wane. But now our sun hath waned, weak and effete, And moons are ever full. My heart with pain Is firmly bound, and held in sorrow's chain, As to the body cleaves an unwashed dress. Silent I think of my sad case; in vain I try to find relief from my distress. Would I had wings to fly where ills no longer press!
A Wife Deplores the Absence of Her Husband
Away the startled pheasant flies, With lazy movement of his wings. Borne was my heart's lord from my eyes;— What pain the separation brings!
The pheasant, though no more in view, His cry, below, above, forth sends. Alas! my princely lord, 'tis you— Your absence, that my bosom rends.
At sun and moon I sit and gaze, In converse with my troubled heart. Far, far from me my husband stays! When will he come to heal its smart?
Ye princely men who with him mate, Say, mark ye not his virtuous way. His rule is—covet nought, none hate;— How can his steps from goodness stray?
The Plaint of a Rejected Wife
The east wind gently blows, With cloudy skies and rain. 'Twixt man and wife should ne'er be strife, But harmony obtain. Radish and mustard plants Are used, though some be poor; While my good name is free from blame, Don't thrust me from your door.
I go along the road, Slow, with reluctant heart. Your escort lame to door but came, There glad from me to part. Sow-thistle, bitter called, As shepherd's purse is sweet; With your new mate you feast elate, As joyous brothers meet.
Part clear, the stream of King Is foul beside the Wei. You feast elate with your new mate, And take no heed of me. Loose mate, avoid my dam, Nor dare my basket move! Person slighted, life all blighted, What can the future prove?
The water deep, in boat, Or raft-sustained, I'd go; And where the stream did narrow seem, I dived or breasted through. I labored to increase Our means, or great or small; When 'mong friends near death did appear, On knees to help I'd crawl.
No cherishing you give, I'm hostile in your eyes. As pedler's wares for which none cares, My virtues you despise.
When poverty was nigh, I strove our means to spare; You, now rich grown, me scorn to own; To poison me compare.
The stores for winter piled Are all unprized in spring. So now, elate with your new mate, Myself away you fling. Your cool disdain for me A bitter anguish hath. The early time, our love's sweet prime, In you wakes only wrath.
Soldiers of Wei Bewail Separation from Their Families
List to the thunder and roll of the drum! See how we spring and brandish the dart! Some raise Ts'aou's walls; some do field work at home; But we to the southward lonely depart.
Our chief, Sun Tsze-chung, agreement has made, Our forces to join with Ch'in and with Sung. When shall we back from this service be led? Our hearts are all sad, our courage unstrung.
Here we are halting, and there we delay; Anon we soon lose our high-mettled steeds. The forest's gloom makes our steps go astray; Each thicket of trees our searching misleads.
For death as for life, at home or abroad, We pledged to our wives our faithfulest word. Their hands clasped in ours, together we vowed, We'd live to old age in sweetest accord.
This march to the South can end but in ill; Oh! never shall we our wives again meet. The word that we pledged we cannot fulfil; Us home returning they never will greet.
An Officer Tells of His Mean Employment
With mind indifferent, things I easy take; In every dance I prompt appearance make:— Then, when the sun is at his topmost height, There, in the place that courts the public sight.
With figure large I in the courtyard dance, And the duke smiles, when he beholds me prance. A tiger's strength I have; the steeds swift bound; The reins as ribbons in my hands are found.
See how I hold the flute in my left hand; In right the pheasant's plume, waved like a wand; With visage red, where rouge you think to trace, While the duke pleased, sends down the cup of grace!
Hazel on hills; the ling in meadow damp;— Each has its place, while I'm a slighted scamp. My thoughts go back to th' early days of Chow, And muse upon its chiefs, not equalled now. O noble chiefs, who then the West adorned, Would ye have thus neglected me and scorned?
An Officer Sets Forth His Hard Lot
My way leads forth by the gate on the north; My heart is full of woe. I hav'n't a cent, begged, stolen, or lent, And friends forget me so. So let it be! 'tis Heaven's decree. What can I say—a poor fellow like me?
The King has his throne, sans sorrow or moan; On me fall all his cares, And when I come home, resolved not to roam, Each one indignant stares. So let it be! 'tis Heaven's decree. What can I say—a poor fellow like me?
Each thing of the King, and the fate of the State, On me come more and more. And when, sad and worn, I come back forlorn, They thrust me from the door. So let it be! 'tis Heaven's decree. What can I say—a poor fellow like me?
The Complaint of a Neglected Wife
When the upper robe is green, With a yellow lining seen, There we have a certain token, Right is wronged and order broken. How can sorrow from my heart In a case like this depart?
Color green the robe displays; Lower garment yellow's blaze. Thus it is that favorite mean In the place of wife is seen. Vain the conflict with my grief; Memory denies relief.
Yes, 'twas you the green who dyed, You who fed the favorite's pride. Anger rises in my heart, Pierces it as with a dart. But on ancient rules lean I, Lest to wrong my thoughts should fly.
Fine or coarse, if thin the dress, Cold winds always cause distress. Hard my lot, my sorrow deep, But my thoughts in check I keep. Ancient story brings to mind Sufferers who were resigned.
[NOTE.—Yellow is one of the five "correct" colors of the Chinese, while green is one of the "intermediate" colors that are less esteemed. Here we have the yellow used merely as a lining to the green, or employed in the lower, or less honorable, part of the dress;—an inversion of propriety, and intimating how a favorite had usurped the place of the rightful wife and thrust her down.]
In Praise of a Maiden
O sweet maiden, so fair and retiring, At the corner I'm waiting for you; And I'm scratching my head, and inquiring What on earth it were best I should do.
Oh! the maiden, so handsome and coy, For a pledge gave a slim rosy reed. Than the reed is she brighter, my joy; On her loveliness how my thoughts feed!
In the pastures a t'e blade she sought, And she gave it, so elegant, rare. Oh! the grass does not dwell in my thought, But the donor, more elegant, fair.
As when the north winds keenly blow, And all around fast falls the snow, The source of pain and suffering great, So now it is in Wei's poor state. Let us join hands and haste away, My friends and lovers all. 'Tis not a time will brook delay; Things for prompt action call.
As when the north winds whistle shrill, And drifting snows each hollow fill, The source of pain and suffering great, So now it is in Wei's poor state, Let us join hands, and leave for aye, My friends and lovers all, 'Tis not a time will brook delay; Things for prompt action call.
We look for red, and foxes meet; For black, and crows our vision greet. The creatures, both of omen bad, Well suit the state of Wei so sad.
Let us join hands and mount our cars, My friends and lovers all. No time remains for wordy jars; Things for prompt action call.
Chwang Keang Bemoans Her Husband's Cruelty
Fierce is the wind and cold; And such is he. Smiling he looks, and bold Speaks mockingly. Scornful and lewd his words, Haughty his smile. Bound is my heart with cords In sorrow's coil.
As cloud of dust wind-blown, Just such is he. Ready he seems to own, And come to me. But he comes not nor goes, Stands in his pride. Long, long, with painful throes, Grieved I abide.
Strong blew the wind; the cloud Hastened away. Soon dark again, the shroud Covers the day. I wake, and sleep no more Visits my eyes. His course I sad deplore, With heavy sighs.
Cloudy the sky, and dark; The thunders roll. Such outward signs well mark My troubled soul. I wake, and sleep no more Comes to give rest. His course I sad deplore, In anguished breast.
[NOTE: Selections from Books IV., V., and VI., have been omitted.—EDITOR.]
THE ODES OF CH'ING
The People's Admiration for Duke Woo
The black robes well your form befit; When they are worn we'll make you new. Now for your court! oh! there we'll sit, And watch how you your duties do. And when we to our homes repair, We'll send to you our richest fare, Such is the love to you we bear!
Those robes well with your virtue match; When they are worn we'll make you new. Now for your court! There will we watch, Well pleased, how you your duties do. And when we to our homes repair, We'll send to you our richest fare, Such is the love to you we bear!
Those robes your character beseem; When they are worn we'll make you new. Now for your court! oh! there we deem It pleasure great your form to view. And when we to our homes repair, We'll send to you our richest fare, Such is the love to you we bear!
A Wife Consoled by Her Husband's Arrival
Cold is the wind, fast falls the rain, The cock aye shrilly crows. But I have seen my lord again;— Now must my heart repose.
Whistles the wind, patters the rain, The cock's crow far resounds. But I have seen my lord again, And healed are my heart's wounds.
All's dark amid the wind and rain, Ceaseless the cock's clear voice! But I have seen my lord again;— Should not my heart rejoice?
In Praise of Some Lady
There by his side in chariot rideth she, As lovely flower of the hibiscus tree, So fair her face; and when about they wheel, Her girdle gems of Ken themselves reveal. For beauty all the House of Keang have fame; Its eldest daughter—she beseems her name.
There on the path, close by him, walketh she, Bright as the blossom of hibiscus tree, And fair her face; and when around they flit, Her girdle gems a tinkling sound emit. Among the Keang she has distinguished place, For virtuous fame renowned, and peerless grace.
A Man's Praise of His Wife
My path forth from the east gate lay, Where cloud-like moved the girls at play. Numerous are they, as clouds so bright, But not on them my heart's thoughts light. Dressed in a thin white silk, with coiffure gray Is she, my wife, my joy in life's low way.
Forth by the covering wall's high tower, I went, and saw, like rush in flower, Each flaunting girl. Brilliant are they, But not with them my heart's thoughts stay. In thin white silk, with head-dress madder-dyed, Is she, my sole delight, 'foretime my bride.
Along the great highway, I hold you by the cuff. O spurn me not, I pray, Nor break old friendship off.
Along the highway worn, I hold your hand in mine. Do not as vile me scorn; Your love I can't resign.
A Woman Scorning Her Lover
O dear! that artful boy Refuses me a word! But, Sir, I shall enjoy My food, though you're absurd!
O dear! that artful boy My table will not share! But, Sir, I shall enjoy My rest, though you're not there!
A Lady Mourns the Absence of Her Student Lover
You student, with the collar blue, Long pines my heart with anxious pain. Although I do not go to you, Why from all word do you refrain?
O you, with girdle strings of blue, My thoughts to you forever roam! Although I do not go to you, Yet why to me should you not come?
How reckless you, how light and wild, There by the tower upon the wall! One day, from sight of you exiled, As long as three long months I call.
[NOTE: Selections from Books IV., V., and VI., have been omitted.—EDITOR.]
THE ODES OF TS'E
A Wife Urging Her Husband to Action
His lady to the marquis says, "The cock has crowed; 'tis late. Get up, my lord, and haste to court. 'Tis full; for you they wait." She did not hear the cock's shrill sound, Only the blueflies buzzing round.
Again she wakes him with the words, "The east, my lord, is bright. A crowded court your presence seeks; Get up and hail the light." 'Twas not the dawning light which shone, But that which by the moon was thrown.
He sleeping still, once more she says, "The flies are buzzing loud. To lie and dream here by your side Were pleasant, but the crowd Of officers will soon retire; Draw not on you and me their ire!"
The Folly of Useless Effort
The weeds will but the ranker grow, If fields too large you seek to till. To try to gain men far away With grief your toiling heart will fill,
If fields too large you seek to till, The weeds will only rise more strong. To try to gain men far away Will but your heart's distress prolong.
Things grow the best when to themselves Left, and to nature's vigor rare. How young and tender is the child, With his twin tufts of falling hair! But when you him ere long behold, That child shall cap of manhood wear!
The Prince of Loo
A grand man is the prince of Loo, With person large and high. Lofty his front and suited to The fine glance of his eye! Swift are his feet. In archery What man with him can vie? With all these goodly qualities, We see him and we sigh!
Renowned through all the land is he, The nephew of our lord. With clear and lovely eyes, his grace May not be told by word. All day at target practice, He'll never miss the bird. Such is the prince of Loo, and yet With grief for him we're stirred!
All grace and beauty he displays, High forehead and eyes bright. And dancing choice! His arrows all The target hit aright. Straight through they go, and every one Lights on the self-same spot. Rebellion he could well withstand, And yet we mourn his lot!
THE ODES OF WEI
On the Misgovernment of the State
A fruit, small as the garden peach, May still be used for food. A State, though poor as ours, might thrive, If but its rule were good. Our rule is bad, our State is sad, With mournful heart I grieve. All can from instrument and voice My mood of mind perceive. Who know me not, with scornful thought, Deem me a scholar proud. "Those men are right," they fiercely say, "What mean your words so loud?" Deep in my heart my sorrows lie, And none the cause may know. How should they know who never try To learn whence comes our woe?
The garden jujube, although small, May still be used for food. A State, though poor as ours, might thrive, If but its rule were good. Our rule is bad, our State is sad, With mournful heart I grieve. Methinks I'll wander through the land, My misery to relieve. Who know me not, with scornful thought, Deem that wild views I hold. "Those men are right," they fiercely say, "What mean your words so bold?"
Deep in my heart my sorrows lie, And none the cause may know. How can they know, who never try To learn whence comes our woe?
The Mean Husband
Thin cloth of dolichos supplies the shoes, In which some have to brave the frost and cold. A bride, when poor, her tender hands must use, Her dress to make, and the sharp needle hold. This man is wealthy, yet he makes his bride Collars and waistbands for his robes provide.
Conscious of wealth, he moves with easy mien; Politely on the left he takes his place; The ivory pin is at his girdle seen:— His dress and gait show gentlemanly grace. Why do we brand him in our satire here? 'Tis this—-his niggard soul provokes the sneer.
A Young Soldier on Service
To the top of that tree-clad hill I go, And towards my father I gaze, Till with my mind's eye his form I espy, And my mind's ear hears how he says:— "Alas for my son on service abroad! He rests not from morning till eve. May he careful be and come back to me! While he is away, how I grieve!"
To the top of that barren hill I climb, And towards my mother I gaze, Till with my mind's eye her form I espy, And my mind's ear hears how she says:— "Alas for my child on service abroad! He never in sleep shuts an eye. May he careful be, and come back to me! In the wild may his body not lie!"
Up the lofty ridge I, toiling, ascend, And towards my brother I gaze, Till with my mind's eye his form I espy, And my mind's ear hears how he says:— "Alas! my young brother, serving abroad, All day with his comrades must roam. May he careful be, and come back to me, And die not away from his home."
THE ODES OF TANG
The King Goes to War
The wild geese fly the bushy oaks around, With clamor loud. Suh-suh their wings resound, As for their feet poor resting-place is found. The King's affairs admit of no delay. Our millet still unsown, we haste away. No food is left our parents to supply; When we are gone, on whom can they rely? O azure Heaven, that shinest there afar, When shall our homes receive us from the war?
The wild geese on the bushy jujube-trees Attempt to settle and are ill at ease;— Suh-suh their wings go flapping in the breeze. The King's affairs admit of no delay; Our millet still unsown, we haste away. How shall our parents their requirements get? How in our absence shall their wants be met? O azure Heaven, that shinest there afar, When shall our homes receive us from the war?
The bushy mulberry-trees the geese in rows Seek eager and to rest around them close— With rustling loud, as disappointment grows. The King's affairs admit of no delay; To plant our rice and maize we cannot stay. How shall our parents find their wonted food? When we are gone, who will to them be good? O azure Heaven, that shinest there afar, When shall our homes receive us from the war?
Lament of a Bereaved Person
A russet pear-tree rises all alone, But rich the growth of leaves upon it shown! I walk alone, without one brother left, And thus of natural aid am I bereft. Plenty of people there are all around, But none like my own father's sons are found. Ye travellers, who forever hurry by, Why on me turn the unsympathizing eye? No brother lives with whom my cause to plead;— Why not perform for me the helping deed?
A russet pear-tree rises all alone, But rich with verdant foliage o'ergrown. I walk alone, without one brother's care, To whom I might, amid my straits repair. Plenty of people there are all around, But none like those of my own name are found. Ye travellers, who forever hurry by, Why on me turn the unsympathizing eye? No brother lives with whom my cause to plead;— Why not perform for me the helping deed?
The Drawbacks of Poverty
On the left of the way, a russet pear-tree Stands there all alone—a fit image of me. There is that princely man! O that he would come, And in my poor dwelling with me be at home! In the core of my heart do I love him, but say, Whence shall I procure him the wants of the day?
At the bend in the way a russet pear-tree Stands there all alone—a fit image of me. There is that princely man! O that he would come, And rambling with me be himself here at home! In the core of my heart I love him, but say, Whence shall I procure him the wants of the day?
A Wife Mourns for Her Husband
The dolichos grows and covers the thorn, O'er the waste is the dragon-plant creeping. The man of my heart is away and I mourn— What home have I, lonely and weeping?
Covering the jujubes the dolichos grows, The graves many dragon-plants cover; But where is the man on whose breast I'd repose? No home have I, having no lover!
Fair to see was the pillow of horn, And fair the bed-chamber's adorning; But the man of my heart is not here, and I mourn All alone, and wait for the morning.
While the long days of summer pass over my head, And long winter nights leave their traces, I'm alone! Till a hundred of years shall have fled, And then I shall meet his embraces.
Through the long winter nights I am burdened with fears, Through the long summer days I am lonely; But when time shall have counted its hundreds of years I then shall be his—and his only!
THE ODES OF TS'IN
Celebrating the Opulence of the Lords of Ts'in
Our ruler to the hunt proceeds; And black as iron are his steeds That heed the charioteer's command, Who holds the six reins in his hand. His favorites follow to the chase, Rejoicing in his special grace.
The season's males, alarmed, arise— The season's males, of wondrous size. Driven by the beaters, forth they spring, Soon caught within the hunters' ring. "Drive on their left," the ruler cries; And to its mark his arrow flies.
The hunting done, northward he goes; And in the park the driver shows The horses' points, and his own skill That rules and guides them at his will. Light cars whose teams small bells display, The long-and short-mouthed dogs convey.
He lodged us in a spacious house, And plenteous was our fare. But now at every frugal meal There's not a scrap to spare. Alas! alas that this good man Could not go on as he began!
A Wife's Grief Because of Her Husband's Absence
The falcon swiftly seeks the north, And forest gloom that sent it forth. Since I no more my husband see, My heart from grief is never free. O how is it, I long to know, That he, my lord, forgets me so?
Bushy oaks on the mountain grow, And six elms where the ground is low. But I, my husband seen no more, My sad and joyless fate deplore. O how is it, I long to know, That he, my lord, forgets me so?
The hills the bushy wild plums show, And pear-trees grace the ground below. But, with my husband from me gone, As drunk with grief, I dwell alone. O how is it, I long to know, That he, my lord, forgets me so?
Lament for Three Brothers
They flit about, the yellow birds, And rest upon the jujubes find. Who buried were in duke Muh's grave, Alive to awful death consigned?
'Mong brothers three, who met that fate, 'Twas sad the first, Yen-seih to see. He stood alone; a hundred men Could show no other such as he. When to the yawning grave he came, Terror unnerved and shook his frame.
Why thus destroy our noblest men, To thee we cry, O azure Heaven! To save Yen-seih from death, we would A hundred lives have freely given.
They flit about, the yellow birds, And on the mulberry-trees rest find. Who buried were in duke Muh's grave, Alive to awful death consigned?
'Mong brothers three, who met that fate, 'Twas sad the next, Chung-hang to see. When on him pressed a hundred men, A match for all of them was he. When to the yawning grave he came, Terror unnerved and shook his frame.
Why thus destroy our noblest men, To thee we cry, O azure Heaven! To save Chung-hang from death, we would A hundred lives have freely given.
They flit about, the yellow birds, And rest upon the thorn-trees find. Who buried were in duke Muh's grave, Alive to awful death consigned?
'Mong brothers three, who met that fate, 'Twas sad the third, K'een-foo, to see. A hundred men in desperate fight Successfully withstand could he. When to the yawning grave he came, Terror unnerved and shook his frame.
Why thus destroy our noblest men, To thee we cry, O azure Heaven! To save K'een-foo from death, we would A hundred lives have freely given.
[NOTE.—The incident related in this poem occurred in the year B.C. 620, when the duke of Muh died after playing an important part in the affairs of Northwest China. Muh required the three officers here celebrated, to be buried with him, and according to the "Historical Records" this barbarous practice began with duke Ching, Muh's predecessor. In all, 170 individuals were buried with Muh. The death of the last distinguished man of the Ts'in dynasty, the Emperor I, was subsequently celebrated by the entombment with him of all the inmates of his harem.]
In Praise of a Ruler of Ts'in
What trees grow on the Chung-nan hill? The white fir and the plum. In fur of fox, 'neath 'broidered robe, Thither our prince is come. His face glows with vermilion hue. O may he prove a ruler true!
What find we on the Chung-nan hill? Deep nook and open glade. Our prince shows there the double Ke On lower robe displayed. His pendant holds each tinkling gem, Long life be his, and deathless fame!
The Generous Nephew
I escorted my uncle to Tsin, Till the Wei we crossed on the way. Then I gave as I left For his carriage a gift Four steeds, and each steed was a bay.
I escorted my uncle to Tsin, And I thought of him much in my heart. Pendent stones, and with them Of fine jasper a gem, I gave, and then saw him depart.
THE ODES OF CH'IN
The Contentment of a Poor Recluse
My only door some pieces of crossed wood, Within it I can rest enjoy. I drink the water wimpling from the spring; Nor hunger can my peace destroy.
Purged from ambition's aims I say, "For fish. We need not bream caught in the Ho; Nor, to possess the sweets of love, require To Ts'e, to find a Keang, to go.
"The man contented with his lot, a meal Of fish without Ho carp can make; Nor needs, to rest in his domestic joy, A Tsze of Sung as wife to take."
The Disappointed Lover
Where grow the willows near the eastern gate, And 'neath their leafy shade we could recline, She said at evening she would me await, And brightly now I see the day-star shine!
Here where the willows near the eastern gate Grow, and their dense leaves make a shady gloom, She said at evening she would me await. See now the morning star the sky illume!
The moon comes forth, bright in the sky; A lovelier sight to draw my eye Is she, that lady fair. She round my heart has fixed love's chain, But all my longings are in vain. 'Tis hard the grief to bear.
The moon comes forth, a splendid sight; More winning far that lady bright, Object of my desire! Deep-seated is my anxious grief; In vain I seek to find relief; While glows the secret fire.
The rising moon shines mild and fair; More bright is she, whose beauty rare My heart with longing fills. With eager wish I pine in vain; O for relief from constant pain, Which through my bosom thrills!
The Lament of a Lover
There where its shores the marsh surround, Rushes and lotus plants abound. Their loveliness brings to my mind The lovelier one that I would find. In vain I try to ease the smart Of wounded love that wrings my heart. In waking thought and nightly dreams, From every pore the water streams.
All round the marsh's shores are seen Valerian flowers and rushes green. But lovelier is that Beauty rare, Handsome and large, and tall and fair, I wish and long to call her mine, Doomed with the longing still to pine. Nor day nor night e'er brings relief; My inmost heart is full of grief.
Around the marsh, in rich display, Grow rush and lotus flowers, all gay. But not with her do they compare, So tall and large, majestic, fair. Both day and night, I nothing speed; Still clings to me the aching need. On side, on back, on face, I lie, But vain each change of posture.
THE ODES OF KWEI
The Wish of an Unhappy Man
Where the grounds are wet and low, There the trees of goat-peach grow, With their branches small and smooth, Glossy in their tender youth. Joy it were to me, O tree, Consciousness to want like thee.
Where the grounds are wet and low, There the trees of goat-peach grow. Soft and fragrant are their flowers, Glossy from the vernal showers. Joy it were to me, O tree, Ties of home to want like thee.
Where the grounds are wet and low, There the trees of goat-peach grow, What delicious fruits they bear, Glossy, soft, of beauty rare! Joy it were to me, O tree, Household cares to want like thee.
THE ODES OF TS'AOU
Against Frivolous Pursuits
Like splendid robes appear the wings Of the ephemeral fly; And such the pomp of those great men, Which soon in death shall lie! I grieve! Would they but come to me! To teach them I should try.
The wings of the ephemeral fly Are robes of colors gay; And such the glory of those men, Soon crumbling to decay! I grieve! Would they but rest with me, They'd learn a better way!
The ephemeral fly bursts from its hole, With gauzy wings like snow; So quick the rise, so quick the fall, Of those great men we know! I grieve! Would they but lodge with me, Forth they would wiser go.
THE ODES OF PIN
The Duke of Chow Tells of His Soldiers
To the hills of the east we went, And long had we there to remain. When the word of recall was sent, Thick and fast came the drizzling rain. When told our return we should take, Our hearts in the West were and sore; But there did they clothes for us make:— They knew our hard service was o'er. On the mulberry grounds in our sight The large caterpillars were creeping; Lonely and still we passed the night, All under our carriages sleeping.
To the hills of the East we went, And long had we there to remain. When the word of recall was sent, Thick and fast came the drizzling rain. The heavenly gourds rise to the eye, With their fruit hanging under the eave. In our chambers the sow-bug we spy; Their webs on our doors spiders weave. Our paddocks seem crowded with deer, With the glow-worm's light all about. Such thoughts, while they filled us with fear, We tried, but in vain, to keep out.
To the hills of the East we went, And long had we there to remain. When the word of recall was sent, Thick and fast came the drizzling rain.
On ant-hills screamed cranes with delight; In their rooms were our wives sighing sore. Our homes they had swept and made tight:— All at once we arrived at the door. The bitter gourds hanging are seen, From branches of chestnut-trees high. Three years of toil away we had been, Since such a sight greeted the eye.
To the hills of the East we went, And long had we there to remain. When the word of recall was sent, Thick and fast came the drizzling rain. With its wings now here, and now there, Is the oriole sporting in flight. Those brides to their husbands repair, Their steeds red and bay, flecked with white. Each mother has fitted each sash; Their equipments are full and complete; But fresh unions, whatever their dash, Can ne'er with reunions compete.
There is a Proper Way for Doing Everything
In hewing an axe-shaft, how must you act? Another axe take, or you'll never succeed. In taking a wife, be sure 'tis a fact, That with no go-between you never can speed.
In hewing an axe-shaft, hewing a shaft, For a copy you have the axe in your hand.
In choosing a wife, you follow the craft, And forthwith on the mats the feast-vessels stand.
PART II.—MINOR ODES TO THE KINGDOM
DECADE OF LUH MING
A Festal Ode
With sounds of happiness the deer Browse on the celery of the meads. A nobler feast is furnished here, With guests renowned for noble deeds. The lutes are struck; the organ blows, Till all its tongues in movement heave. Each basket loaded stands, and shows The precious gifts the guests receive. They love me and my mind will teach, How duty's highest aim to reach.
With sounds of happiness the deer The southern-wood crop in the meads, What noble guests surround me here, Distinguished for their worthy deeds! From them my people learn to fly Whate'er is mean; to chiefs they give A model and a pattern high;— They show the life they ought to live. Then fill their cups with spirits rare, Till each the banquet's joy shall share.
With sounds of happiness the deer The salsola crop in the fields. What noble guests surround me here! Each lute for them its music yields. Sound, sound the lutes, or great or small. The joy harmonious to prolong;—
And with my spirits rich crown all The cups to cheer the festive throng. Let each retire with gladdened heart, In his own sphere to play his part.
A Festal Ode Complimenting an Officer
On dashed my four steeds, without halt, without stay, Though toilsome and winding from Chow was the way. I wished to return—but the monarch's command Forbade that his business be done with slack hand; And my heart was with sadness oppressed.
On dashed my four steeds; I ne'er slackened the reins. They snorted and panted—all white, with black manes. I wished to return, but our sovereign's command Forbade that his business be done with slack hand;— And I dared not to pause or to rest.
Unresting the Filial doves speed in their flight, Ascending, then sweeping swift down from the height, Now grouped on the oaks. The king's high command Forbade that his business be done with slack hand;— And my father I left, sore distressed.
Unresting the Filial doves speed in their flight, Now fanning the air and anon they alight On the medlars thick grouped. But our monarch's command Forbade that his business be done with slack hand;— Of my mother I thought with sad breast.
My four steeds I harnessed, all white and black-maned, Which straight on their way, fleet and emulous strained. I wished to return; and now venture in song The wish to express, and announce how I long For my mother my care to attest.
[NOTE.—Both Maou and Choo agree that this ode was composed in honor of the officer who narrates the story in it, although they say it was not written by the officer himself, but was put into his mouth, as it were, to express the sympathy of his entertainer with him, and the appreciation of his devotion to duty.]
The Value of Friendship
The woodmen's blows responsive ring, As on the trees they fall; And when the birds their sweet notes sing, They to each other call. From the dark valley comes a bird, And seeks the lofty tree. Ying goes its voice, and thus it cries, "Companion, come to me." The bird, although a creature small, Upon its mate depends; And shall we men, who rank o'er all, Not seek to have our friends? All spirits love the friendly man, And hearken to his prayer. What harmony and peace they can Bestow, his lot shall share.
Hoo-hoo the woodmen all unite To shout, as trees they fell. They do their work with all their might;— What I have done I'll tell. I've strained and made my spirits clear, The fatted lambs I've killed. With friends who my own surname bear, My hall I've largely filled. Some may be absent, casually, And leave a broken line; But better this than absence by An oversight of mine. My court I've sprinkled and swept clean, Viands in order set. Eight dishes loaded stand with grain; There's store of fatted meat. My mother's kith and kin I'm sure I've widely called by name. That some be hindered better is Than I give cause for blame.
On the hill-side the trees they fell, All working with good-will I labor too, with equal zeal. And the host's part fulfil. Spirits I've set in order meet, The dishes stand in rows. The guests are here; no vacant seat A brother absent shows. The loss of kindly feeling oft From slightest things shall grow, Where all the fare is dry and spare, Resentments fierce may glow. My store of spirits is well strained, If short prove the supply, My messengers I straightway send, And what is needed buy. I beat the drums, and in the dance Lead joyously the train. Oh! good it is, when falls the chance The sparkling cup to drain.
The Response to a Festal Ode
Heaven shields and sets thee fast. It round thee fair has cast Thy virtue pure. Thus richest joy is thine;— Increase of corn and wine, And every gift divine, Abundant, sure.
Heaven shields and sets thee fast. From it thou goodness hast; Right are thy ways. Its choicest gifts 'twill pour, That last for evermore, Nor time exhaust the store Through endless days.
Heaven shields and sets thee fast, Makes thine endeavor last And prosper well. Like hills and mountains high, Whose masses touch the sky; Like streams aye surging by; Thine increase swell!
With rite and auspice fair, Thine offerings thou dost bear, And son-like give, The season's round from spring, To olden duke and king, Whose words to thee we bring:— "Forever live,"
The spirits of thy dead Pour blessings on thy head, Unnumbered sweet. Thy subjects, simple, good, Enjoy their drink and food. Our tribes of every blood Follow thy feet.
Like moons that wax in light; Or suns that scale the height; Or ageless hill; Nor change, nor autumn know; As pine and cypress grow; The sons that from thee flow Be lasting still!
An Ode of Congratulation
The russet pear-tree stands there all alone; How bright the growth of fruit upon it shown! The King's affairs no stinting hands require, And days prolonged still mock our fond desire. But time has brought the tenth month of the year; My woman's heart is torn with wound severe. Surely my warrior lord might now appear!
The russet pear-tree stands there all alone; How dense the leafy shade all o'er it thrown! The King's affairs require no slackening hand, And our sad hearts their feelings can't command. The plants and trees in beauty shine; 'tis spring. From off my heart its gloom I fain would fling. This season well my warrior home may bring!
I climbed that northern hill, and medlars sought; The spring nigh o'er, to ripeness they were brought. "The King's affairs cannot be slackly done";— 'Tis thus our parents mourn their absent son. But now his sandal car must broken be; I seem his powerful steeds worn out to see. Relief has gone! He can't be far from me!
Alas! they can't have marched; they don't arrive! More hard it grows with my distress to strive. The time is passed, and still he is not here! My sorrows multiply; great is my fear. But lo! by reeds and shell I have divined, That he is near, they both assure my mind;— Soon at my side my warrior I shall find!
An Ode on the Return of the Troops
Forth from the city in our cars we drove, Until we halted at the pasture ground. The general came, and there with ardor strove A note of zeal throughout the host to sound. "Direct from court I come, by orders bound The march to hasten";—it was thus he spake. Then with the carriage-officers around, He strictly charged them quick despatch to make:— "Urgent the King's affairs, forthwith the field we take."
While there we stopped, the second corps appeared, And 'twixt Us and the city took its place. The guiding standard was on high upreared, Where twining snakes the tortoises embrace, While oxtails, crest-like, did the staff's top grace. We watched the sheet unfolding grandly wave; Each flag around showed falcons on its face.
With anxious care looked on our leader brave; Watchful the carriage-officers appeared and grave.
Nan Chung, our chief, had heard the royal call To go where inroad by Heen-yuns was made, And 'cross the frontier build a barrier wall. Numerous his chariots, splendidly arrayed! The standards—this where dragons were displayed, And that where snakes round tortoises were coiled— Terrific flew. "Northward our host," he said, "Heaven's son sends forth to tame the Heen-yun wild." Soon by this awful chief would all their tribes be foiled.
When first we took the field, and northward went, The millet was in flower;—a prospect sweet. Now when our weary steps are homeward bent, The snow falls fast, the mire impedes our feet. Many the hardships we were called to meet, Ere the King's orders we had all fulfilled. No rest we had; often our friends to greet The longing came; but vain regrets we stilled; By tablets stern our hearts with fresh resolve were thrilled.
"Incessant chirp the insects in the grass; All round about the nimble hoppers spring. From them our thoughts quick to our husbands pass? Although those thoughts our hearts with anguish wring. Oh! could we see them, what relief 'twould bring! Our hearts, rejoiced, at once would feel at rest." Thus did our wives, their case deploring, sing; The while our leader farther on had pressed, And smitten with his power the wild Jung of the west.
The spring days now are lengthening out their light; The plants and trees are dressed in living green; The orioles resting sing, or wing their flight; Our wives amid the southern-wood are seen, Which white they bring, to feed their silkworms keen. Our host, returned, sweeps onwards to the hall, Where chiefs are questioned, shown the captives mean Nan Chung, majestic, draws the gaze of all, Proud o'er the barbarous foe his victories to recall.
THE DECADE OF PIH H'WA
An Ode Appropriate to a Festivity
The dew lies heavy all around, Nor, till the sun shines, leaves the ground. Far into night we feasting sit; We drink, and none his place may quit.
The dew lies heavy, and its gems Stud the luxuriant, grassy stems. The happy night with wassail rings; So feasted here the former kings.
The jujube and the willow-tree All fretted with the dew we see. Each guest's a prince of noble line, In whom the virtues all combine.
The t'ung and e their fruits display, Pendant from every graceful spray. My guests are joyous and serene, No haggard eye, no ruffled mien.
THE DECADE OF TUNG RUNG
Celebrating a Hunting Expedition
Our chariots were well-built and firm, Well-matched our steeds, and fleet and strong. Four, sleek and large, each chariot drew, And eastward thus we drove along.
Our hunting cars were light and good, Each with its team of noble steeds. Still further east we took the way To Foo-mere's grassy plains that leads.
Loud-voiced, the masters of the chase Arranged the huntsmen, high and low. While banners streamed, and ox-tails flew, We sought the prey on distant Gaou.
Each with full team, the princes came, A lengthened train in bright array. In gold-wrought slippers, knee-caps red, They looked as on an audience day.
Each right thumb wore the metal guard; On the left arm its shield was bound. In unison the arrows flew; The game lay piled upon the ground.
The leaders of the tawny teams Sped on their course, direct and true. The drivers perfect skill displayed; Like blow well aimed each arrow flew.
Neighing and pleased, the steeds returned; The bannered lines back slowly came. No jostling rude disgraced the crowd; The king declined large share of game.
So did this famous hunt proceed! So free it was from clamorous sound! Well does our King become his place, And high the deeds his reign have crowned!
The King's Anxiety for His Morning Levee
How goes the night? For heavy morning sleep Ill suits the king who men would loyal keep. The courtyard, ruddy with the torch's light, Proclaims unspent the deepest hour of night. Already near the gate my lords appear; Their tinkling bells salute my wakeful ear.
How goes the night? I may not slumber on. Although not yet the night is wholly gone, The paling torch-light in the court below Gives token that the hours swift-footed go. Already at the gate my lords appear; Their tinkling bells with measured sound draw near.
How goes the night? I may not slumber now. The darkness smiles with morning on its brow. The courtyard torch no more gives forth its ray, But heralds with its smoke the coming day. My princes pass the gate, and gather there; I see their banners floating in the air.
Moral Lessons from Natural Facts
All true words fly, as from yon reedy marsh The crane rings o'er the wild its screaming harsh. Vainly you try reason in chains to keep;— Freely it moves as fish sweeps through the deep.
Hate follows love, as 'neath those sandal-trees The withered leaves the eager searcher sees. The hurtful ne'er without some good was born;— The stones that mar the hill will grind the corn.
All true words spread, as from the marsh's eye The crane's sonorous note ascends the sky. Goodness throughout the widest sphere abides, As fish round isle and through the ocean glides. And lesser good near greater you shall see, As grows the paper shrub 'neath sandal-tree. And good emerges from what man condemns;— Those stones that mar the hill will polish gems.
THE DECADE OF K'E-FOO
On the Completion of a Royal Palace
On yonder banks a palace, lo! upshoots, The tender blue of southern hill behind; Firm-founded, like the bamboo's clamping roots; Its roof made pine-like, to a point defined. Fraternal love here bears its precious fruits, And unfraternal schemes be ne'er designed!
Ancestral sway is his. The walls they rear, Five thousand cubits long; and south and west The doors are placed. Here will the king appear, Here laugh, here talk, here sit him down and rest.
To mould the walls, the frames they firmly tie; The toiling builders beat the earth and lime. The walls shall vermin, storm, and bird defy;— Fit dwelling is it for his lordly prime.
Grand is the hall the noble lord ascends;— In height, like human form most reverent, grand; And straight, as flies the shaft when bow unbends; Its tints, like hues when pheasant's wings expand.