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The Mien; metaphorical and narrative. The small beginnings and subsequent growth of the house of Chou. Its removal from Pin under T‘an-f u, and settlement in Chou, down to the time of King Wên.

1As grow the gourds, with ever length’ning stem.
From elder sires sprang ours, as we from them.
When first by Chü and Ch‘i our people grew,
And o’er them ruled the ancient Duke T‘an-fu,
There kilnlike huts and caves for them he made,
Ere any house its walls and roof displayed.

2The ancient Duke T‘an-fu came with the morn,
In car along the western rivers borne,
Nor stayed his steeds, until he reached Mount Ch‘i.
The Lady Chiang came in his company. p. 339
With eager eyes they traveled o’er the ground,
To find a site on which a town to found.

3The plain of Chou, with violets o’erspread
And sonchus plants found sweet on such a bed,
Lay wide and rich. He asked his men their mind,
And by the scorched tortoise shell divined.
Both answer gave:—"Now is the time and here!"
His followers straight their homes began to rear.

4He cheered them on, and placed them on the land,
On left and right their different sites he planned.
Divisions, large and small, soon marked the plain,
And channels, or to irrigate or drain.
From east to west the acres he defined;
Nought that was needed ’scaped his active mind.

5He named two officers who should preside
O’er all these labors, and the people guide.
These to direct the building work he calls;
True to the plummet rise the many walls. p. 340
They bind the frame boards, till they stand aright,
And rear th’ ancestral temple in its might.

6With earth in baskets crowding workmen came,
Which then with shouts they cast into the frame.
There with responsive blows the earth they pound,
And trim and pare until the walls are sound.
At once, five thousand cubits long, these rise,
The drum unheard amidst the toilers’ cries.

7The palace next they built. Its outer gate
Arose with lofty and imposing state.
The inner portal of the court they reared,
With massive pomp. Anon, hard by, appeared
The altar for the spirits of the land,
Where the state's greatest movements should be planned.

8Thus though his foeman's rage he could not tame,
T‘an-fu preserved and left a noble fame. p. 341
In time the oaks and thorns were cleared away,
And roads for travelers opened to the day.
The savage hordes of Hun all disappeared,
Panting, and trembling at the name they feared.

9Then came King Wên, and stirred to nobler life
The chiefs of Joo and Juy, who ceased their strife.
Some sought our prince, whom yet they had not seen;
Some, led by those who at his court had been;
Some came who dreaded his avenging arm;
And some, who knew he screened the weak from harm.

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