南有喬木、不可休息。 漢有游女、不可求思。 漢之廣矣、不可泳思。 江之永矣、不可方思。
翹翹錯薪、言刈其楚。 之子于歸、言秣其馬。 漢之廣矣、不可泳思。 江之永矣、不可方思。
翹翹錯薪、言刈其蔞 。 之子于歸、言秣其駒 。 漢之廣矣、不可泳思 。 江之永矣、不可方思 。
In the south rise the trees without branches, Affording no shelter. By the Han are girls rambling about, But it is vain to solicit them. The breadth of the Han Cannot be dived across; The length of the Jiang Cannot be navigated with a raft.
Many are the bundles of firewood; I would cut down the thorns [to form more]. Those girls that are going to their future home, -- I would feed their horses. The breadth of the Han Cannot be dived across; The length of the Jiang, Cannot be navigated with a raft.
Many are the bundles of firewood; I would cut down the southern wood [to form more]. Those girls that are going to their future home, -- I would feed their colts. The breadth of the Han Cannot be dived across; The length of the Këang Cannot be navigated with a raft.
Ode 9. Allusive, and metaphorical. The virtuous manners of the Young Women about the Han and the Këang.
Through the influence of Wăn, the dissolute manners of the people, and especially the women, in the regions south from Chow, had undergone a great transformation. The praise of the ladies in the piece, therefore, is to the praise of Wăn. So say both Choo and Maou, the 'Little Preface' ceasing here to speak of T'ae-sze. The first 4 lines of each stanza are allusive, the poet proceeding always from the first two lines to the things alluded to in them or intended by them. The last 4 lines are metaphorical, no mention being made of the poet's inner meaning in them. To bring that out, we should have to supply, -- 'Those ladies are like.' See the remarks of Lew Kin (劉瑾; Yuen dyn.) appended to Choo's 'Collection of Comments,' --in the Yung-ching she.
St.1. L.1. The south here is difft. from that in Ode II. The connection makes us refer it to the States in Yang-chow and King-chow. 喬木 means 'lofty trees with few or no branches low down.'
L.2. The 息 unites well enough with 休 of cognate meaning; but it can hardly be other than an error which has crept into the text, instead of 思, the particle with which all the other lines conclude, elsewhere found also at the end of lines. In those lofty trees, giving no shelter, we have an allusion to the young ladies immediately spoken of, virtuous and refusing their favours. L.3. The Han, -- see the Shoo, III. i. Pt. li. 8. L.6. 泳 = 潛行, 'to go hidden in the water,' to dive. L.8. Choo defines 方 (or 舫) by 柎, and Maou by 泭; these characters are synonyms, meaning a raft; here = 'to be rafted,' to be navigated with a raft. L.7. The Këang, -- see the Shoo on III.i. pt. ii.9. -- Rafts are seen constantly on the Këang. Does not the Text indicate that in the time of the poet the people had not learned to venture on the mighty stream?
Stt. 2,3. The first four lines in these stanzas are of difficult interpretation. 錯 is explained by 雜, 'mixed,' 'made up of different components,' so that 錯薪 = 'bundles of faggots of different kinds of wood, or of wood and grass or brushwood together.' 翹翹 is given by Maou as indicating 'the appearance of the faggots;' but he does not say in what way. Choo says the phrase indicate 'the appearance of rising up flourishingly;' but how can this apply to the bundle of faggots? Two other meanings of the phrase are given in the dict., either of which is preferable to this: viz., 'numerous (眾),' which I have adopted; and high-like (高貌).' 楚 is a species of thorn-tree (荊屬); and 蔞 is a species of Artemisia. It is also called 蒿蔞 and 蔞蒿, which last Medhurst calls 'a kind of southernwood.' It is described as growing in low places, and marshy grounds, with leaves like the mugwort, of a light green, fragrant and brittle. When young, the leaves may be eaten, and after words, they may be cooked for food. The reference to them in the text, however, is not because of their use for food, but, like the thorns, for fuel. The plant grows, it is said, several feet high; and even, with ourselves, the southernwood acquires a woody stem, after a few years. 秣 (Shwo Wăn, 食末) . 馬 is a full-grown horse, six cubits high and upwards;' 駒, is a colt, a young horse, 'between 5 and 6 cubits high;' but stress cannot be laid on the specific difference in the meaning of such terms, which are employed in order to vary the rhymes. But now, what relation was there between the piles of faggots, and cutting down the thorns and the southernwood? and how are the first two lines allusive of what is stated in the next two? Lacharme does not try to indicate this in his notes, and his translation is without Chinese sanction, and in itself unjustifiable. The nearest approach to a satisfactory answer to those questions that I have met with, is the following: -- Cutting down the thorns and the southernwood was a toilsome service performed for the faggots, but such was the respect inspired by the virtuous ladies whom the speaker saw, that he was willing to perform the meanest services for them. This I have endeavoured to indicate in the translation, though the nature of the service done to the faggots is not expressed by any critic as I have done. See the 'Complete Digest' in loc., and the various suggestions in the Collection of Opinions (集說),' given in the imperial edition.
The rhymes are -- in st.1, 休, 求; in 2, 楚, 馬*, in 3, 蔞, 駒*; in all stanzas, 廣, 泳*, 永, 方.