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

p. 224


The Mien Shui; allusive. Bewailing the disorder of the times and the general indifference to it, and tracing it to the slanderers encouraged by men in authority.

1The waters flow with volume vast,
  Straight to the ocean's mighty court;
Swift fly the soaring falcons past,
  And to their resting place resort.
But through the land disorder wends,
  And with it none will dare to cope.
Ye kinsmen near, ye honored friends,
  Ye people, why abandon hope?
Alas that you the struggle shun,
And leave your parents all undone!

2Their bed the mighty waters leave,
  And ruin spread the country o’er.
The sky on wing the falcons cleave;
  High and yet higher still they soar.
So is it with the lawless crew,
  Whose evil courses know no bound.
I think of them, and start to do.
  Alas! I go but round and round.
Still in my heart fast dwells its grief;
I vainly strive to find relief. p. 225

3With volume vast the waters flow,
  But still within their channel run.
And swiftly as the falcons go,
  The vault that copes the hill they shun.
And can we then no method find
  To check the talk that fills the land?
No means devise to curb or bind
  The idle tongue and wanton hand?
Watch, friends, yourselves; watch reverently,
And slanderous tongues will silent be!

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