The speaker in this piece is, by common consent, king Khăng. The only question is as to the date of its composition, whether it was made for him, in his minority, on his repairing to the temple when the mourning for his father was completed, or after the expiration of the regency of the duke of Kâu. The words 'little child,' according to their usage, are expressive of humility and not of age. They do not enable us to determine the above point.
Alas for me, who am a little child, On whom has devolved the unsettled state! Solitary am I and full of distress. Oh! my great Father, All thy life long, thou wast filial.
Thou didst think of my great grandfather, (Seeing
him, as it were) ascending and descending in the court, I, the little child, Day and night will be as reverent.
Oh! ye great kings, As your successor, I will strive not to forget you.