喓喓草蟲、趯趯阜螽。 未見君子、憂心忡忡。 亦既見止、亦既覯止、我心則降。
陟彼南山、言采其蕨。 未見君子、憂心惙惙。 亦既見止、亦既覯止、我心則說。
陟彼南山、言采其薇。 未見君子、我心傷悲。 亦既見止、亦既覯止、我心則夷。
Yao-yao went the grass-insects, And the hoppers sprang about. While I do not see my lord, My sorrowful heart is agitated. Let me have seen him, Let me have met him, And my heart will then be stilled.
I ascended that hill in the south, And gathered the turtle-foot ferns. While I do not see my lord, My sorrowful heart is very sad. Let me have seen him, Let me have met him, And my heart will then be pleased .
I ascended that hill in the south, And gathered the thorn-ferns. While I do not see my lord, My sorrowful heart is wounded with grief. Let me have seen him, Let me have met him, And my heart will then be at peace.
Ode 3. Narrative. The wife of some great officer bewails his absence on duty, and longs for the joy of his return.
All the critics agree that the speaker is the wife of a great officer. According to Choo's view, she speaks as she is moved by the phaenomena of the different seasons which she observes, and gives expression to the regrets and hopes which she cherished. He compares the piece with the 3d and 10th of last book. The different view of the older interpreters will be noticed in the concluding note.
St.1. L1.1,2 喓 (Shwoh-wăn does not give the character) 喓is intended to give the sound made by the one insect; and 趯趯 represents the jumping of the other. What specific names they should receive is yet to be determined. I have meanwhile, translate 草螽 literally. It is described as 'a kind of locust, green and with a wonderful not.' The pictures of it are like the locusta viridissima. The 阜蟲 is, probably, the common grasshopper; --Seu Ting (徐鼎; of the time of K'ëen-lung) says there can be doubt of it (蚱蜢無疑也). The Urh-ya calls it 蠜, and the former 負蠜, or 'carrier of the fan.' These names arose from the belief that when the one gave out its note, the other leaped to it, and was carried on its back. 'They thus,' says K'ang-shing, 'sought each other like husband and wife.' This is the foundation of the old interpretation of the piece.
L.4, in all stanzas. 忡忡 = 'to be agitated.' as if it were 衝衝. The Shwoh-wan explains both 忡 and 忡惙 by 憂. The predicates in all the three stanzas rise upon each other, as do those in the concluding lines.
L1.5.-7. Of 亦 and 止 we can say nothing but that they are two particles untranslateable; one initial, the other final. So Wang Yin-che. The turn in the thought, indeed, makes 亦 = 'but.'
Stt.2,3. L.2. 蕨 and 薇 are both ferns. Williams says on the former: --'An edible fern; the stalks are cooked for food, when tender, and a flour is made from the root. The drawing of the plant resembles an arpidium.' Choo says, 'The wei resembles the keueh, but in rather longer; it has spinous points and a bitter taste. The people among the hills eat it.' The keueh is also called 蹩 and 蹩腳, as in the translation.
They rhymes are -- in st.1, 蟲, 螽, 忡, 降; in 2, 蕨, 惙, 說; in 3, 薇, 悲, 夷.
Note on the interpretation.
The old interpreters say, like Choo, that the subject of the ode is 'the wife of a great officer;' but they make the subject of her distress, not the absence of her husband, but the anxiety incident to the uncertainty as to the establishment of her state as his acknowledged wife. According to the customs of those days, ladies underwent a probation of 3 months after their 1st reception by their husbands, at the end of which time they might be sent back as 'not approved.' The lady of the ode is supposed to be brooding during this period over her separation from her parents; and then anticipating the declaration of her husband's satisfaction with her, which would be an abundant consolation. I have noticed the allusion in the 1st two lines of the 1st st., which may be tortured into a justification of this view; but the other stanzas have nothing analogues. The interpretation may well provoke a laugh. The imperial editors take no notice of it.