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

p. 367


The Fu I; allusive. An ode, appropriate to the feast given to the personators of the departed, on the day after the sacrifice in the ancestral temple.

1How the flocks of the wild ducks and widgeons play,
As they now skim the King, and now seek their prey!
How happy the birds! And not less joy inspires
Those who yesterday played the part of your sires.
Your viands are fragrant; your spirits are clear.
They feast and they drink; and all happy appear.
Complete is the honor you render them here!

2The wild ducks and widgeons now see on the sand,
As along the King's banks they move or they stand!
How happy the birds! And now here, as their due,
Those who sat as your sires are feasted by you.
Abundant your spirits, your viands are good.
They feast and they drink in their happiest mood.
Ne’er before on the summit of honor they stood. p. 368

3Round the islets the wild ducks and widgeons fly,
And on the land settle with loud scream and cry.
How happy the birds! And with joy those are filled,
Who with fathers long gone were yesterday thrilled.
Your viands are sliced, and your spirits are strained.
They feast and they drink, with new happiness gained
From this glory they now from you have obtained.

4The wild ducks and widgeons behold on the wing,
Where their tribute the streamlets pay to the King!
How happy the birds! And how honored are those,
In whom your sires yesterday found their repose!
The feast in the ancestral temple is spread,
Where blessing and dignity most are conveyed.
Of each feaster what happiness now crowns the head!

5Where the stream through the rocks its way seems to forge,
Many wild ducks and widgeons rest in the gorge.
How happy the birds! As complacent are they, p. 369
Through whom your great fathers their will did convey.
Your exquisite spirits, your meat broiled and roast,
That they have partaken those feasters can boast.
Henceforth shall their minds by no troubles be tossed!

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