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


The Ku Chung; narrative. Supposed to refer to and deplore some expedition of King Yu to the country about the Huai, where he abandoned himself to the delights of music.

1          How peal the royal bells,
As the Huai sweeps along to the main!
          A tale their music tells,
Waking thoughts in my mind full of pain.
          Before me back it sadly brings
          The memory of our virtuous kings;
And they live in my fancy again! p. 280

2          Loud roll the royal drums,
As the Huai rushes on to the deep.
          A vanished memory comes
In their sound which compels me to weep,—
          The memory of our kings of old,
          Whose virtue flawless still we hold,
Though the kings in their sepulchers sleep.

3          Bells peal and drums resound,
As the Huai its three islands displays.
          They stir a grief profound
In my heart that no revel allays.
          The virtue of our kings of yore
          A stamp of truth and beauty bore,
Such as never we see nowadays.

4          Ch‘in-ch‘in the bells peal on,
And the lutes in the concert we hear.
          Deep breathes the organ tone;
Sounding stones join their notes, rich and clear.
          The while through the vessel there ring
          The Ya and the Nan which they sing,
And the dancers with flutes now appear.

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