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

p. 289


The Fu T‘ien; narrative. Pictures of husbandry and sacrifices connected with it. Happy understanding between the people and their superiors.

1Bright shine my widespread fields before the eye,
That yearly to the king a tithe supply.
From olden times the crops have plenteous been;
Each year has left to feed my husbandmen
Sufficient store. Now to the ground I go,
Where their rich soil the southern acres show.
Some weed; some gather earth around the roots;
Each millet plant luxuriantly upshoots.
There I call round me in a spacious place
The brightest youths, with cheering words to grace.

2Heaped in the vessels, bright the millet shone;
Pure were the victim rams. Last harvest done,
We thanked the spirits of the land and air,
From whom the joyous husbandmen declare
The copious produce of the year had come.
Now without lutes and the resounding drum,
To him who taught men tillage first we cry,
And ask for rain to help our husbandry. p. 290
So shall our millets grow. Each field now thrives,
To bless our laborers, and bless their wives.

3Our lord of long descent now comes this way,
Just as their wives and children food convey
To those who on the southern acres toil.
The inspector of the fields appears meanwhile
Glad he looks on, and of the simple food
The dishes tastes, to see if it be good.
The hand of skill appears in every field;
’Tis sure erelong luxuriant crop to yield.
Our lord complacent looks, and in his view
The toilers feel their zeal inspired anew.

4The reapers soon the crops will take in hand,
Which curving down, and thick as thatch, shall stand.
Lo! numerous stacks are built all o’er the grounds,
Rising like islands, seen from far like mounds.
Thousands of granaries must our lord prepare,
And carts in myriads home their loads shall bear.
With radiant joy each husbandman surveys
The millets stored, the rice crop and the maize.
Then all shall pray for blessing on our lord,
For myriad years.—Such shall be his reward!

Next: VIII. Ta Tien