The concluding lines indicate that the temple was made on the occasion which I thus assign to it. After Wû-ting's death, his spirit-tablet would be shrined in the ancestral temple, and he would have his share in the seasonal sacrifices; but several reigns would elapse before there was any necessity to make any other arrangement, so that his tablet should not be removed, and his share in the sacrifices not be discontinued. Hence the composition of the piece has been referred to the time of Tî-yî, the last but one of the kings of Shang.
Rapid was the warlike energy of (our king of) Yin, And vigorously did he attack King-Khû 3.
[paragraph continues] Boldly he entered its dangerous passes, And brought the multitudes of King together, Till the country was reduced under complete restraint: Such was the fitting achievement of the descendant of Thang!
'Ye people,' (he said), 'of King-Khû, Dwell in the southern part of my kingdom. Formerly, in the time of Thang the Successful, Even from the Kiang of Tî 1, They dared not but come with their offerings; (Their chiefs) dared not but come to seek acknowledgment 2:--Such is the regular rule of Shang.'
Heaven had given their appointments (to the princes), But where their capitals, had been assigned within the sphere of the labours of Yü, For the business of every year they appeared before our king 3, (Saying), 'Do not punish nor reprove us; We have not been remiss in our husbandry.'
When Heaven by its will is inspecting (the kingdom), The lower people are to be feared. (Our king) showed no partiality (in rewarding), no excess (in punishing); He dared not to allow himself in indolence:--So was his appointment (established)}
over the states, And he made his happiness grandly secure.
The capital of Shang was full of order, The model for all parts of the kingdom. Glorious was (the king's) fame; Brilliant his energy. Long lived he and enjoyed tranquillity, And so he preserves us, his descendants.
We ascended the hill of King 1, Where the pines and cypresses grew symmetrical. We cut them down and conveyed them here; We reverently hewed them square. Long are the projecting beams of pine; Large are the many pillars. The temple was completed,--the tranquil abode (of the martial king of Yin).
311:3 King, or Khû, or King-Khû, as the two names are combined here, was a large and powerful half-savage state, having its capital in the present Wû-pei. So far as evidence goes, we should say, but for this ode, that the name of Khû was not in use till long after the Shang dynasty. The name King appears several times in 'the Spring and Autumn' in the annals of duke Kwang (B.C. 693 to 662), and then it gives place to the name Khû in the first year of duke Hsî (B.C. 659), and subsequently disappears itself altogether. In consequence of this some critics make this piece out to have been composed under the Kâu dynasty. The point cannot be fully cleared up; but on the whole I accept the words of the ode as sufficient proof against the silence of other documents.
312:1 The Tî Kiang, or Kiang of Tî, still existed in the time of the Han dynasty, occupying portions of the present Kan-sû.
312:2 The chiefs of the wild tribes, lying beyond the nine provinces of the kingdom, were required to present themselves once in their lifetime at the royal court. The rule, in normal periods, was for each chief to appear immediately after he had succeeded to the headship of his tribe.
312:3 The feudal lords had to appear at court every year. They did so, we may suppose, at the court of Wû-ting, the more so because of his subjugation of King-Khû.
313:1 See on the last line but two of ode 3.