Classic of Poetry

12-25

Songs of Shao

 

巢,維 之。

之﹐子 歸,百 之。

巢,維 之。

之﹐子 歸,百 之。

巢,維 之。

之﹐子 歸,百 之。

 

12

1 Wéi què yǒu cháo, wéi jiū jū zhī.

2 Zhī, zǐ yú guī, bǎi liǎng yù zhī.

3 Wéi què yǒu cháo, wéi jiū fāng zhī.

4 Zhī, zǐ yú guī, bǎi liǎng jiāng zhī.

5 Wéi què yǒu cháo, wéi jiū yíng zhī.

6 Zhī, zǐ yú guī, bǎi liǎng chéng zhī.

 

12

While the magpie builds the nest, still the cuckoo lays her eggs there;

the humble magpie's glad to hatch the cuckoo's lordly brood.

There's a girl going off to be married, a hundred pair of horses

pull her coach, prancing glad to serve the noble maiden.

While the magpie builds the nest, the cuckoo has plans for it,

but the humble magpie's glad to raise the blue-blood cuckoo's chicks.

There's a girl going off to be married, a hundred pair of horse

escort her, prancing glad to be beside so noble a maid.

While the magpie builds the nest, little cuckoos fill it;

the humble magpie's glad to feed the cuckoo's highborn family.

There's a girl going off to be married, a hundred pair of horse

draw her coach, prancing glad to complete the wedding procession.

 

十三

蘩﹐于 沼﹐于 沚﹐

事。

蘩﹐于 中﹐

宮。

僮,夙 公﹐

祁,薄﹐言﹐ 歸。

 

13

1 Yú yǐ cǎi fán, yú zhǎo, yú zhǐ,

2 yú yǐ yòng zhī gōng hóu zhī shì.

3 Yú yǐ cǎi fán, yú jiàn zhī zhōng,

4 yú yǐ yòng zhī gōng hóu zhī gōng.

5 Bèi zhī tóng tóng, sù yè zài gōng,

6 bèi zhī qí qí, bó, yán, huán guī.

 

13

She goes to gather asters

to the pond, to the little isles in it,

gathers starry white flowers

in the service of the duke.

She goes to gather asters

that grow along the hillside streams,

gathers starry white flowers

for the palace of the duke.

Look at the splendid turban she wears

to the duke's, morning and eve,

see the cloth of her head-dress flow

behind her as she comes and goes.

十四

草蟲

喓﹐草 蟲,趯 螽。

子,憂 忡。

止,亦 止,

降。

山,言﹐采 蕨。

子,憂 惙。

止,亦 止,

說。

山,言﹐采 薇。

子,我 悲。

止,亦 止,

夷。

14

Yāo yāo, cǎo chóng, yuè yuè fù zhōng.

Wèi jiàn jūn zǐ, yōu xīn chōng chōng.

Yì jì jiàn zhǐ, yì jì gòu zhǐ,

wǒ xīn zé jiàng.

Zhì bǐ nán shān, yán, cǎi qí jué.

Wèi jiàn jūn zǐ, yōu xīn chuò chuò.

Yì jì jiàn zhǐ, yì jì gòu zhǐ,

wǒ xīn zé shuō.

Zhì bǐ nán shān, yán, cǎi qí wéi.

Wèi jiàn jūn zǐ, wǒ xīn shāng bēi.

Yì jì jiàn zhǐ, yì jì gòu zhǐ,

wǒ xīn zé yí.

 

14

Chirp chirp, go the grasshoppers, look how many, look how they jump!

I haven't seen my gentleman today,

my heart is sad, sad.

But if I just see him, just meet him by chance,

my heart is tame and pleased.

I climb the sunlit south side of the hill.

I haven't seen my gentleman yet,

my heart is doubting, sad.

But if I just see him, just meet him by chance,

my heart becomes glad.

Climbing the sunny side of this hill,

I haven't seen my gentleman yet,

my heart is baffled, hurt.

But if I just see him, just meet him by chance,

my heart's at peace.

 

濱。

潦。

之﹐維 筐﹐及 筥。

之﹐維 錡﹐及 釜。

下。

之?有 女。

15

Yú yǐ cǎi píng nán jiàn zhī bīn.

Yú yǐ cǎi zǎo yú bǐ xíng lǎo.

Yú yǐ shèng zhī, wéi kuāng, jí jǔ.

Yú yǐ xiāng zhī, wéi qí, jí fǔ.

Yú yǐ diàn zhī zōng shì yǒu xià.

Shéi qǐ shī zhī? Yǒu qí jì nǚ.

15

Off to cull herbs at the sunny hillside stream-bank,

to gather savory plants, where the water floods and rushes down;

off homewards, carrying the gatherings, bundled and stacked

in basket and or box, to put them to to boil

bundled in kettles, placed into pots;

off to open the cupboard-like ancestor shrine,

to open its doors like a little window's shutters,

off to pour the ancestors an offering of the new-made soup ---

who raises the bowl and places it rightly?

Here is a dilligent, excellent, reverent girl!

 

甘棠

芾﹐甘 棠﹔勿 翦﹐勿 伐,

茇。

芾﹐甘 棠﹔勿 翦﹐勿 敗,

憩。

芾﹐甘 棠﹔勿 翦﹐勿 拜,

說。

 

16

Bì fú gān táng; wù jiǎn, wù fá,

Shāo bó suǒ bá.

Bì fú gān táng; wù jiǎn, wù bài,

Shāo bó suǒ qì.

Bì fú gān táng; wù jiǎn wù bài,

Shāo bó suǒ yuè.

 

16

The Earl of Shao was half-brother to King Wu, establisher of the Jo dynasty (1122-256 BC).

That pear tree gives a nice dark shade;

don't clip its twigs, don't prune its boughs,

under these the Earl of Shao once camped.

That pear tree gives a nice dark shade;

don't trim or clip or break a branch,

under these the Earl of Shao once rested.

That pear tree gives a nice dark shade;

don't trim, don't even bend its branches,

once it cheered the Earl of Shao.

 

浥﹐行 露。

不﹐夙 夜﹐

露﹖

角?

穿 屋?

家?

獄?

獄,

足。

牙?

穿 墉?

家?

訟?

訟,

從。

17

1 Yàn yì, xíng lù.

2 Qǐ bù, sù yè,

3 wèi xíng duō lù?

4 Shuí wèi què wú jiǎo?

5 Hé yǐ chuān wǒ wū?

6 Shuí wèi rǔ wú jiā

7 Hé yǐ sù wǒ yù?

8 Suī sù wǒ yù,

9 shì jiā bù zú.

10 Shuí wèi shǔ wú yá?

11 Hé yǐ chuān wǒ yōng?

12 Shuí wèi rǔ wú jiā?

13 Hé yǐ sù wǒ sòng?

14 Suī sù wǒ sòng,

15 yì bù rǔ cóng.

 

1) Literally, "to-surfeit wet, the path is dewed." The difficulty is that the verb xíng is being used as a noun, and the noun following is used as a verb in the passive.

17

The way is sodden, soaked with dew.

None could deny that path's too wet

for walking, dawn or dewy eve.

There are roads I do not care to walk.

The sparrow represents love,

but that doesn't mean his beak isn't sharp.

Just such a lovebird's pecking a hole

in my bedroom wall. A sparrow

of a noble lineage.

Yes, I was promised you in marriage,

but what will you gain by hauling me to court?

The judge may rule the contract stands,

but your house won't be my prison,

your noble house,

it isn't strong enough for that.

You gnaw your way through my home's thick walls,

like a rat. What fine teeth you have,

surely you come of good stock!

Any rodent would be proud

What will you gain, hauling me to court?

I follow the bailiff there, I must,

but I'll never follow you.

 

皮,素 紽。

退 公,委 蛇﹐委 蛇。

革,素 緎。

蛇﹐委 蛇,自 退 食。

縫,素 總。

蛇﹐委 蛇,退 公。

18

Gāo yáng zhī pí, sù sī wǔ tuó.

Tuì shí zì gōng, wěi shé, wěi shé.

Gāo yáng zhī gé, sù sī wǔ yù.

Wěi shé, wěi shé, zì gōng tuì shí.

Gāo yáng zhī féng, sù sī wǔ zǒng.

Wěi shé, wěi shé, tuì shí zì gōng.

 

 

 

18

Lamb fur coats, five

white silk fringes each.

Lords leave duke to dine, defer,

"After you!" "No, after you!"

Sheep skin soft coats, five

white silk sewn seams each.

Lords leave duke to dine, defer,

"After you!" "No, after you!"

Lamb skins, tailored, five pockets each,

sewn with white silk, cleverly cut.

Lords leave duke to dine, defer,

"After you!" "No, after you!"

 

殷﹐其 陽。

斯?莫 遑。

振﹐君 子,歸 哉﹐歸 哉!

殷﹐其 側。

斯?莫 遑﹐息。

振﹐君 子,歸 哉﹐歸 哉!

殷﹐其 下。

斯?莫 遑﹐處。

振﹐君 子,歸 哉﹐歸 哉!

 

19

1 Yīn, qí léi zài nán shān zhī yáng.

2 Hé sī wéi sī? Mò gǎn huò huáng.

3 Zhèn zhèn, jūn zǐ, guī zāi, guī zāi!

4 Yīn, qí léi zài nán shān zhī cè.

5 Hé sī wéi sī? Mò gǎn huáng

6 Zhèn zhèn, jūn zǐ, guī zāi, guī zāi!

7 Yīn, qí léi zài nán shān zhī xià.

8 Hé sī wéi sī? Mò huò huáng, chǔ.

9 Zhèn zhèn, jūn zǐ, guī zāi, guī zāi!

1) "its", that is, the mountain's thunder, which would have to be an echo.

2) literally, "how [could] this [man] leave this [place]

 

 

19

Listen to that thunder rumble,

echoing over sunlit South Mountain,

How could he leave here?

Is a little bit of leisure so unthinkable?

O, hurry, hurry, my lord, back home, back to me!

Listen to that thunder rumble,

echoing over South Mountain's sides.

How could he leave here?

Never, never time to rest, never time to think?

O hurry, hurry, my lord, back home, back to me!

Listen to that thunder rumble, echoing down South Mountain valley.

How could he leave here?

Would it be too much to ask, for him to have a home?

O, hurry, hurry, my lord, back home, back to me!

 

廿

梅,其 七﹐兮。

士,迨 吉﹐兮。

梅,其 三﹐兮。

士,迨 今﹐兮。

梅,頃 之。

士,迨 之!

 

 

 

20

1 Biāo yǒu méi, qí shí qī, xī.

2 Qiú wǒ shù shì, dài qí jí, xī

3 Biāo yǒu méi, qí shí sān, xī

4 Qiú wǒ shù shì, dài qí jīn, xī.

5 Biāo yǒu méi, qǐng kuāng jì zhī.

6 Qiú wǒ shù shì, dài qí wèi zhī!

 

1) Biāo yǒu méi is to be taken as a poetic inversion of word order, such as is common in the first lines of these poems. The order according to meaning is is méi yǒu biāo, literally, "the plum tree has a throwing-down."

 

20

The plum tree's letting its fruit fall now,

seven remain, they're ready to drop.

All the gentlemen court me,

one of them will be lucky soon.

The plum tree's letting its fruit fall now,

three still hang there, ready to drop.

All the gentlemen court me,

one of them won't let this chance slip.

The plum tree's letting its fruit fall now,

you don't need a basket to gather what's left.

All the gentlemen court me,

one of them should really speak up!

廿

嘒﹐彼 星,三 東。

征,夙 公﹐

同!

嘒﹐彼 昴。

征,抱 裯﹐

猶!

 

 

21

1 Huì, bǐ xiǎo xīng, sān wǔ zài dōng.

2 Sù sù xiāo zhēng, sù yè zài gōng,

3 shí mìng bù tóng!

4 Huì, bǐ xiǎo xīng wéi Cān yǔ Mǎo.

5 Sù sù xiāo zhēng, bào qīn yǔ chóu,

6 shí mìng bù yóu!

 

1) huì K. "small", but this is redundant with the following xiǎo. M. offers "twinkling," but this is clearly a meaning manufactured for this context. "Faint" is my best conjecture for a meaning that fits this context but has relation to the other attested meanings for huì,"small" and "shrill."

2) K. "quick."

4) wéi in preclassical Chinese, this means "is," not "only."

21

Three, four, five stars left in the east,

tiny and faint in a brightening sky.

Hurry, we leave when night does,

hurry, concubines of the duke,

arriving at dusk, departing at dawn,

wives, but not quite wives:

our actual fates are not the same.

Orion and the Pleiades

are now a faint sparkling of stars.

Hurry, we leave when night does,

hurry, concubines of the duke,

arriving at dusk, departing at dawn

with the bedding we brought,

our own quilts and sheets in our arms,

wives, but not quite wives,

our actual fates are not like theirs.

 

 

 

廿二

汜。之﹐子 歸﹔

以。

以﹔其﹐後 也﹐悔。

渚。之﹐子 歸﹔

與。

與﹔其﹐後 也﹐處。

沱。之﹐子 歸﹔

過。

過﹔其﹐嘯 也﹐歌。

22

1 Jiāng yǒu sì. Zhī, zǐ guī;

2 bù wǒ yǐ.

3 Bù wǒ yǐ; qí, hòu yě, huǐ.

4 Jiāng yǒu zhǔ. Zhī, zǐ guī;

5 bù wǒ yǔ.

6 Bù wǒ yǔ; qí, hòu yě, chǔ.

7 Jiāng yǒu tuó. Zhī, zǐ guī;

8 bù wǒ guò.

9 Bù wǒ guò; qí, xiào yě, gē.

 

3) hòu yě Here and in suceeding lines, the is adverbial. Literally line three reads, "[She] would, [it] being late, regret."

22

The river Jiang accepts the streams

that feed it. Madame would not

accept us. Her own younger sisters,

married along with her to become

number two and number three wives.

She didn't accept us, but later

she'd regret this.

The river Jiang allows islands,

many an island amid its waves.

Madame wouldn't allow us,

younger sisters, the lesser wives.

But she'd learn to live with us

in time.

The river Jiang forms branches, divides

its waters among the thirsty fields.

Madame didn't pass us on

to her husband then, but now

she sends us in to him, with a grin,

whistling a song.

廿

麇,白 之。

春,吉 之。

樕,野 鹿,

束。有 玉。

脫﹐脫。兮。

帨﹐ 兮。

使﹐尨 也﹐吠﹗

23

1 Yě yǒu sǐ jūn, bái máo bāo zhī.

2 Yǒu nǚ huái chūn, jí shì yòu zhī.

3 Lín yǒu pú sù, yě yǒu sǐ lù,

4 bái máo diān shù. Yǒu nǚ rú yù.

5 Shū ér tuō, tuō. Xī.

6 Wú gǎn wǒ shuì, xī.

7 Wú shǐ, máng yě, fèi!

 

1) bái In Classical Chinese, "white," but in the archaic language this may mean the associated pale color "green." Compare the Greek chloros.

5) . In this context the colorless filler syllable is to be taken in its etymological sense: the image is an obstructed breath bursting forth, that is , a sigh.

7) máng yě This parenthetic phrase adds greatly to the staccato, overheated tone of the final paragraph.

23

Far in the forest, no one goes there,

a doe lies dead. The poacher covered her

with green weeds. No one will find her

before he comes back tonight.

In the forest, there's a young woman

all the springtime yearning in her heart.

A gentleman coaxes, entices her,

lucky man.

There's many and many a tree in the forest

and under one a deer lies dead,

trussed and covered with green weeds.

In those dense woods, where no one can see,

there's a girl as beautiful as jade.

"Relax, just let me open this one button."

A woman's sigh. "Don't touch my belt,

no --- " a long breath like a whisper,

"No, my little lapdog's right there,

careful, don't make him bark."

 

廿

() 矣﹖唐 .

車﹖

? 李。

孫,齊 .

何?維 絲﹐伊 緡。

子,平 孫。

 

24

Hé bǐ nóng (nóng) yǐ? Táng dì zhī huá!

Hé bù sù yōng wáng jī zhī chē?

Hé bǐ nóng yǐ? Huá rú táo lǐ.

Píng wáng zhī sūn, qí hóu zhī zǐ!

Qí diào wéi hé? Wéi sī, yī mín.

Qí hóu zhī zǐ, píng wáng zhī sūn!

24

Nothing is known of this bride and groom beyond what is stated in the poem.

What's this, so richly thick, so splendidly dense?

The blossoms of the plum tree!

Musicians, why no sweet and reverent strain?

The royal bride's carriage arrives!

Why this rich and splendid dress,

like the blossoms of a peach or a plum tree?

The daughter of the Marquis of Chee

who marries King Ping's heir!

How did she land him? With beauty's hook,

elegant silks were the line.

The daughter of the Marquis of Chee

weds the grandson of good King Ping.

廿

者﹐葭, 豝。

于﹐嗟 乎,騶 虞﹗

者﹐蓬, 豵。

于﹐嗟 乎,騶 虞﹗

25

1 Bǐ zhuó zhě, jiā, yī fā wǔ bā.

2 Yú, jiē hū, zōu yú!

3 Bǐ zhuó zhě, péng, yī fā wǔ zōng.

4 Yú, jiē hū, zōu yú!

 

2) zōu yú traditionally taken as the name of a mythical beast. K. "groom; huntsman."

25

In the tall brush, in the reeds,

five wild pigs with a single shot!

Good riding, grooms and huntsmen, O!

In the tall brush, in the high grass,

five young pigs with a single shot!

Good riding, grooms and huntsmen, O!