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

p. 430


The Chao Min; narrative, all but Stanza 6, which is metaphorical. The writer bemoans the misery and ruin which were going on, and shows how they were owing to the king's employment of mean and worthless characters.

1O pitying Heaven, why see we thee
  In terrors thus arrayed?
Famine has come. The people flee,
  And homeless roam, dismayed.
In settled spots, and far and near,
  Our regions all lie waste and drear.

2See o’er the land Heaven's net of crime!
  And lo! in place appear
Men idle, knowing not the time,
  Locusts looked at with fear,
Oppressive, perverse, fond of strife!—
  Can such as these bring peace and life?

3Slanderers and insolent, the king
  Yet sees in them no ill.
Us to dread peril's brink they bring;
  Our minds with care they fill. p. 431
Not for a moment dare we rest,
  Degraded oft, and sore opprest.

4As when the dry parched grass we see
  Wither for want of rain;
As water plants graft on a tree
  Cannot their life retain;
So all things now to ruin haste.
  Who can their fatal course arrest?

5’Twas merit once that riches gained;
  The case how different now!
Troubles through all our time have reigned,
  And greater still they grow.
Like grain unhulled those men in place!
Like fine rice these who find no grace!
Ye villains, of yourselves retire!
Why thus prolong my grief and ire?

6Now empty stands and dry the pool;—
  No streams into it flow.
The spring is idle, once so full;—
  Unfed now from below!
So for those evils all around
Sufficient causes could be found; p. 432
But they increase my anxious care,
Lest I be caught in evil snare.

7When our first kings the throne received,
  Such ministers they had
As Chao's great chief, whom all believed.
  In one day he would add
A thousand li, from states which came
Our king's protecting care to claim.
Now in one day that space is lost!
Can none the ancient virtue boast?

Next: I. Ch‘ing Miao