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The Book of Poetry, tr. by James Legge, [1876], at

p. 35


The P‘ao Yu K‘u Yeh, allusive and narrative. Against the licentious manners of Wei.

1Its bitter leaves still hang upon the gourd;
Deep is the water where we cross the ford.
Conditions these which well might make them pause,
But bent are they to break the heavenly laws!
"We'll cross," they say; "if deep, clothes on go through;
If shallow, holding up our clothes will do."

2To overflowing full the ford appears;
The female pheasant's cry salutes their ears.
Now will they pause, nor tempt the foaming stream.
In vain the warning; more intent they seem.
"The depth," they say, "our axles will not wet,
And by her cry the pheasant calls her mate."

3In early morn, when 'gins to dawn the day,
In spring, the ice not yet dissolved away,
The gentleman, who home his wife would bring,
Presents the goose, whose notes harmonious ring.
Such is the rule that virtue's law lays down;
And such the rule which I will ever own. p. 36

4The boatman beckons, waving oft his hand;
And with him others cross, but I here stand.
Others may cross, but not with them I go;
I wait my friend, the proper time to show.
I dare not rush to gratify mere lust;
By virtue's law my lusts control I must.

Next: X. Ku Fêng