Sacred Texts  Confucianism  Index  Previous 
Buy this Book at

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


The Yin Wu; narrative. Celebrating the war of Wu-ting against King-ch‘u, its success, and the general happiness and virtue of his reign;—made, probably, when a special and permanent temple was made for him as the Kao Tsung, "the High and Honored" king of Shang.

1  Swift moved with martial force the king of Yin,
  And King-ch‘u he attacked, resolved to win. p. 486
  Its dangerous passes fearlessly he sought,
  And then its multitudes together brought.
  Soon was the country subject at his feet;
Such triumph proved him Pang's descendant meet.

2  "Ye people," thus to King-ch‘u’s hosts he said,
  "My kingdom's southern part your home have made.
  Of old, when the successful Tang bore sway,
  The states made haste their offerings to pay.
  The distant Ch'iang of Ti in homage came;
  No chief then dared deny our sovereign claim.
  Shall ye, who dwell much nearer than the Ch‘iang,
Transgress what long has been th’ unvaried rule of Shang?

3  "’Twas Heaven assigned to all the states their bounds;
  But where within the sphere of Yü's grand rounds
  Their capitals were placed, then every year,
  As business called, their princes did appear
  Before our king, and to him humbly said,
  'Prepare not us to punish or upbraid,
For we the due regard to husbandry have paid.'" p. 487

4  When Heaven's high glance this lower world surveys,
  Attention to the people first it pays.
  Aware of this, our king impartial was.
  Nor punished so as justice to o’erpass.
  ’Gainst idleness he took precaution sure;—
  So o’er the states his rule did firm endure,
And all his life he made his happiness secure.

5  Well ordered was his capital, and grand,
  And served as model good to all the land.
  Men recognized his energy as great;
  His glorious fame rang loud through every state.
  Long was his life, and tranquil was his end;
He blesses and protects us who from him descend.

6  Eager we climbed the King hill near at hand,
  Where round and straight the pine and cypress stand.
  We felled these to the ground, and hither brought,
  And, reverent, hewed them to the shape we sought.
  Long from the wall project the beams of pine,
  And numerous rise the pillars, large and fine;—
So have we built this house for Wu-ting's peaceful shrine.