Large are the fields, and various is the work to be done. Having selected the seed, and looked after the implements, So that all preparations have been made for our labour, We take our sharp ploughshares, And commence on the south-lying acres. We sow all the kinds of grain, Which grow up straight and large, So that the wish of the distant descendant is satisfied.
It ears and the fruit lies soft in its sheath; It hardens and is of good quality; There is no wolf's-tail grass nor darnel. We remove the insects that eat the heart and the leaf, And those that eat the roots and the joints, So that they shall not hurt the young plants of our fields. May the spirit, the Father of Husbandry 1, Lay hold of them, and put them in the blazing fire!
The clouds form in dense masses,. And the rain comes down slowly. May it first rain on our public fields 1, And then come to our private Yonder shall be young grain unreaped, And here some bundles ungathered; Yonder shall be handfuls left on the ground, And here ears untouched:--For the benefit of the widow 2.
The distant descendant will come, When their wives and children Are bringing food to those (at work) on the south-lying acres. The surveyor of the fields (also) will come and be glad. They will come and offer pure sacrifices to (the spirits of the four) quarters, With their victims red and black 3, With their preparations of millet:--Thus offering, thus sacrificing, Thus increasing our bright happiness.
372:1 The ancient Shăn Năng, as in the preceding ode.
373:1 These are two famous lines, continually quoted as showing the loyal attachment of the people to their superiors in those ancient times.
373:2 Compare the legislation of Moses, in connexion with the harvest, for the benefit of the poor, in Deuteronomy xxiv. 19-22.
373:3 They would not sacrifice to these spirits all at once, or all in one place, but in the several quarters as they went along on their progress through the domain. For each quarter the colour of the victim was different. A red victim was offered to the spirit of the south, and a black to that of the north.