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

p. 263


The Hsiang Pai; metaphorical, narrative, and allusive. A eunuch, suffering from slander, complains of his fate, and warns and denounces his enemies.

1A few fine lines, at random drawn,
Like the shell pattern wrought in lawn
  To hasty glance will seem.
My trivial faults base slander's slime
Distorted into foulest crime,
  And men me worthless deem.

2A few small points, pricked down on wood,
May be made out a picture good
  Of the bright southern Sieve.
Who planned, and helped those slanderers vile,
My name with base lies to defile?
  Unpitied, here I grieve.

3With babbling tongues you go about,
And only scheme how to make out
  The lies you scatter round.
Hear me.—Be careful what you say;
People erelong your words will weigh,
  And liars you'll be found.

4Clever you are, with changeful schemes!
How else could all your evil dreams p. 264
  And slanders work their way?
Men now believe you; by and by,
The truth found out, each vicious lie
  Will ill for ill repay.

5The proud rejoice; the sufferer weeps.
O azure Heaven, from out thy deeps
  Why look in silence down?
Behold those proud men and rebuke;
With pity on the sufferers look,
  And on the evil frown.

6Those slanderers I would gladly take,
With all who help their schemes to make,
  And to the tigers throw.
If wolves and tigers such should spare,
I'd hurl them ’midst the freezing air,
  Where the keen north winds blow.
And should the north compassion feel
I'd fling them to great Heaven, to deal
  On them its direst woe.

7As on the acred heights you dwell,
My place is in the willow dell,
  One is the other near.
Before you, officers, I spread
These lines by me, poor eunuch, made.
  Think not Mêng-tzŭ severe.

Next: VII. Ku Fêng