The Preface says the piece was used at sacrifices in autumn and winter. Kû Hsî calls it an ode of thanksgiving for a good year,--without any specification of time. He supposes, however, that the thanks were given to the ancient Shăn-năng, 'the father of Agriculture,' Hâu-kî, 'the first Husbandman,' and the spirits presiding over the four quarters of the heavens. To this the imperial editors rightly demur, saying that the blessings which the piece speaks of could come only from God.
Abundant is the year with much millet and much rice And we have our high granaries, With myriads, and hundreds of thousands, and millions (of measures in them); For spirits and sweet spirits, To present to our forefathers, male and female, And to supply all our ceremonies. The blessings sent down on us are of every kind.