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The Book of Poetry, tr. by James Legge, [1876], at


The Ts‘ai Ch‘i; allusive and narrative. Celebrating Fang Shu, and his successful conduct of a grand expedition against the tribes of the south.

1In those new fields, till the last year unfilled,
And acres which this year the grain first filled,
White millet there they reaped with eager hand,
When Fang Shu came, the army to command.
Three thousand chariots for his orders wait,
Surrounded by a host, well trained, elate. p. 217
He led them on. His car four piebalds drew,
That moved like one great steed to human view.
A royal gift, it shone in glittering red,
With bamboo-checkered screen, and quiver made
Of sealskin strong. The gilt hooks we could tell
On each steed's breast; the rein ends graceful fell.

2Where toil last year had opened harvests new,
And where about the villages it grew,
White millet there they reaped with eager hand,
When Fang Shu came, the army to command.
His cars three thousand; on his banners shone
Snake, tortoise, dragon, as he led them on.
Gay was his yoke; his naves were lacquered red;
Two tinkling bells hung from each horse's head.
He wore the robes the king's gift had bestowed;
Beneath, the red knee covers brightly glowed.
Rare gems upon his girdle pendant hung,
Flashed as they moved, and sounded as they swung. p. 218

3Swift as the soaring falcon cleaves the sky,
And wheels about in airy circles high,
Descending then, and lighting where it rose;
So Fang Shu led his troops against their foes.
Round the war chariots, full three thousand strong,
Close marched the men, a well-trained warrior throng.
The bells and drums his orders clear expressed,
And then the marshaled forces he addressed,
And wise arrangements made. The battle raged,
While the drums rolled, inspiring all engaged.
Victory once gained, a lighter sound they gave,
The while he ordered back the victors brave.

4The savage hordes of King, made blind by fate,
Had madly dared to oppose our larger state.
Although Fang Shu was ripe with growing years,
Yet in his plans a vigorous force appears.
Leading his troops, the hostile chiefs he bound p. 219
For question, with a captive crowd around.
How numerous were his chariots in the fray,
Numerous, and all arrayed in grand array,
Like rattling thunder in assaulting speed!
Oh! grand in wisdom was he as in deed!
The Hsien-yün he had smitten to the ground;
The awe-struck tribes of King his prowess owned.

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