Sacred Texts  Confucianism  Index  Previous  Next 


IT is not according to the truth of things to class the Sung of Lû among the sacrificial odes, and I do not call them such. Kû Hsî says:--'King Khăng, because of the great services rendered by the duke of Kâu, granted to Po-khin, (the duke's eldest son, and first marquis of Lû), the privilege of using the royal ceremonies and music, in consequence of which Lû had its Sung, which were sung to the music in its ancestral temple. Afterwards, they made in Lû other odes in praise of their rulers,

p. 337

which they also called Sung.' In this way it is endeavoured to account for there being such pieces in this part of the Shih as the four in this division of it. Confucius, it is thought, found them in Lû, bearing the name of Sung, and so he classed them with the true sacrificial odes, bearing that designation. If we were to admit, contrary to the evidence in the case, that the Shih was compiled by Confucius, this explanation of the place, of the Sung of Lû in this Part would not be complimentary to his discrimination.

Whether such a privilege as Kû states was really granted to the first marquis of Lû, is a point very much controverted. Many contend that the royal ceremonies were usurped in the state,--in the time of duke Hsî (B.C. 659 to 627). But if this should be conceded, it would not affect the application to the odes in this division of the name of Sung. They are totally unlike the Sung of Shang and of Kâu. It has often been asked why there are no Făng of Lû in the first Part of the Shih. The pieces here are really the Făng of Lû, and may be compared especially with the Făng of Pin.

Lû was one of the states in the east, having its capital in Khü-fâu, which is still the name of a district in the department of Yen-kâu, Shan-tung. According to Kû, king Khăng invested the duke of Kâu's eldest son with the territory. According to Sze-ma Khien, the duke of Kâu was himself appointed marquis of Lû; but being unable to go there in consequence of his duties at the royal court, he sent his son instead. After the expiration of his 'regency, the territory was largely augmented, but he still remained in Kâu.

I pass over the first two odes, which have no claim to a place among 'sacred texts.' And only in one stanza of the third is there the expression of a religious sentiment. I give it entire, however.

Next: Ode 3. The Phan Shui