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


The Lu Yüeh; narrative. Celebrating a successful expedition against the Hsien-yün, and especially the character and conduct of Keih-foo who commanded in it.

1When the sixth month had come, the turmoil of war
Burst suddenly forth, and each quick-harnessed car
Stood ready to move, with its steeds keen and strong,
While heavier cars bore the baggage along.
Fierce blazing, the Hsien-yün had mustered their men;
No recreant there, all was urgency then. p. 214
The king gave the word; we were mustered and gone,
To rescue from foemen the kingdom and throne.

2Well matched in their strength were the horses, and black,
And trained to the reins, as they tighten or slack.
Ere the sixth month was o’er, the field we could take;
No more preparation we needed to make.
With all our accouterments fully complete,
Each day thirty li went our hurrying feet.
The king gave the word; we were mustered and gone,
With courage all ardent to help Heaven's son.

3Long and stout were the steeds, attached to each car,
With broad heads that scented the battle afar.
We smote the Hsien-yün, and great merit obtained,
Nor flagged in our efforts till triumph was gained.
The eye of our leader was careful and stern,
Discharging his service, bright glory to earn; p. 215
Determined the war to such issue to bring,
As would firmly establish the throne of the king.

4For themselves badly judging, the Hsien-yün go,
Bold to occupy Chiao, and seize upon Ho.
Hao and Fang they o’erran, still issuing forth,
Till, crossing the King, they pressed onto the north.
Our flags showed the falcons in blazonry bright,
And gayly their streamers all fluttered in white.
Ten chariots of war, all imposing and strong,
Led proudly the van of our conquering throng.

5The workmen had labored to perfect each car,
Well balanced, before and behind, for the war.
Its four steeds were mighty, unmatched in their strain,
And yielding at once to each touch of the rein.
We smote the Hsien-yün; ay, we conquered, and then
We pursued them in flight to the far T‘a-yüan.
As in peace, so in war, our Chi-fu is great,
Affording a pattern to all in each state. p. 216

6And now at the banquet, forgotten all care,
He feasts with his friends, feeling happiness rare.
The tedious marches are all over now,—
The marches we traveled, returning from Hao.
To his friends the bright spirits his welcome convey;
Minced carp and roast turtle the mats all display.
And who are the guests? There above every other
Sits Chang Chung, renowned as a son and a brother.

Next: IV. Ts‘ai Ch‘i