The Foundation of old Peoms (古诗源)， by Shin Tih-ts'een (沈德潜, al. 沈确士)
1. Song of the peasants in the time of Yaou. From 帝王世纪
We rise at sunrise,
We rest at sunset,
Dig wells and drink,
Till our fields and eat; --
What is the strength of the emperor to us?
2. Children's ditty, overheard by Yaou in the streets. From Leeh-tsze, (仲尼篇)
We people are established,
All by perfect merit.
We follow our Emperor's pattern.
3. A prayer at the winter thanksgiving. From the Le Ke, XI. ii. 11.
Clods, return to your place;
Water, flow back to your ditches;
Ye insects, appear not;
Grass and trees, grow only in your marshes.
4 Yaou's warning. From Hwae Nan
Be tremblingly fearful;
Be careful night and day.
Men trip not on mountains;
They trip on ant-hills.
5. Shun intimates his purpose to resign the throne to Yu. From Fu-sang's Introduction to Shoo (尚书大传)
Splendid are the clouds and bright,
All aglow with various light!
Grand the sun and moon move on;
Daily dawn succeeds to dawn.
6. Response of his eight ministers
Brilliant is the sky o'er-head,
Splendid there the stars are spread.
Grand the sun and moon move on,
All through you, one man alone.
7. Rejoinder of Shun.
The sun and moon move in their orbits;
The stars keep to their path;
The four seasons observe their turns,
And all the people are truly good.
Oh! such music as I speak of
Corresponds to the power of heaven,
Leading to worth and excellence;
And all listen to it.
Vigorously stike it up!
Dance high to it!
The splendour of my work is done;
I will lift up my robes and disappear.
8. Shun's Song of the South Wind. From the Family Sayings (辯樂解)
The fragrance of the south wind,
Can ease the angry feelings of my people.
The seasonableness of the south wind,
Can make large the wealth of my people.
9. On a jade tablet of Yu. Source not given.
Chu-yung presided over the region, and produced my beauty;
Bathed in the sun, washed in the moon, among the precious things I grew.
10. Ditty of Yu on casting the nine Tripods. From Mih Teih.
How brilliant the white clouds,
In the north and the south,
In the east and the west!
These nine tripods are made,
And will be transmitted through three dynasties.
11. An Inscription of the Shang dynasty. From the Narratives of the States (晉語)
Is not worth approaching.
It is not to be boasted of,
And will only bring sorrow.
Small amount of emolument,
Is not worth desiring
You cannot get fat on it,
And will only fall into trouble.
12. Song of the Wheat in Flower. By the viscount of Ke (Shoo, IV. x.). From the Historical Records(世家, 第八)
The flowers of the wheat turn to spikes;
The rice and milliet look bright.
That crafty boy.
Will not be friendly with me!
13. Song of the Fern-gathering. By Poh-e and Shu-ts'e (Ana. V. xxii.). From the Historical Records (列傳 第一)
We ascend that western hill,
And gather the thorn-ferns.
They are changing oppression for oppression,
And do not know their error.
Shin-nung. Yu. and Hea,
Have suddenly lost their influence.
Whither shall we go?
Ah！ we will depart!
Withered is the appointment [of Heaven].
14-19. Inscription on a bathing vessel. From the Le of the elder Tae (卷第六)
Than to sink among men,
It is better to sink in the deep.
He who sinks in the dep
May betake himeself to swimming.
From him who sinks among men
There is no salvation.
15. Inscription on a girdle.
The fire being extinguished, adjust your person;
Be careful, be cautious, ever reverent.
Be reverent and your years will be long.
16. Inscription on a Staff.
Where are your in peril?
In giving way to anger,
Where do you lose the way?
In indulging your lusts.
Where do you forget your friends?
Amid riches and honours.
17. Inscription on a robe.
[Here is] the toil of silkworms,
And the labour of women's work,
If, having got the new, you cast away the old,
In the end you will be cold.
18. Inscription on a pencil.
[Look here at] the bushy hair.
If you fall into water, you may be rescued;
If you fall by your composition, there is no living for you.
19. Inscription on a spear.
You have made the spear, you have made the spear;
And by a moment's want of forbearance
You may disgrace your whole life [with it].
This is what I have heard,
And tell to warn my descendants.
20—26. From the 太平御覽, professing to be extracts from a book of T'ae-kung Shang-foo, at the beginning of the Chow dynasty.
A writing on a chariot.
Seeking his own ends, one is urgent ;
Conveying another, one is slow.
When one's desires are without measure,
Let him turn inwards and deal with himself.
21. A writing on a door.
Go out with awe;
Come in with fear.
22. A toriting on a shoe,
In walking keep the correct path ;
Be not looking out for good luck.
23. A writing on an ink-stone.
Where the stone and the ink meet, there is blackness.
Let not a perverse heart and slanderous words
Stain what is white.
A writing on a pointed weapon,
A moment's forbearance
Will preserve your person,
A writing on a staff,
Helping a man, be not rash ;
Holding up a man, do not wrong.
A writing om a well.
The spring bubbles up,
But in the cold it ceases.
In taking, observe the regular course ;
In your requisitions be guided by economy.
27. The ditty of the white clouds. From the 穆天子傳-卷三
The white clouds are in the sky ;
The mountain-masses push themselves forth.
The way between us is very long,
With hills and rivers intervening.
I pray you not to die ; —
Perhaps you will come here again.
28. The K'e-shaou. From the Tso Chuen, X. xii. 9.
Mild was [the course of] the minister Shaon,
Well displaying his virtuous fame.
To him the measures of the king
Were as precious as gold or gems.
He would regulate them by the strength of the people.
And put from him drunkenness and gluttony.
29. The oracle of E-she. From the Tso Chuen, III. xxii.3,
The phoenixes fly;
Harmoniously sound their gem-like notes.
The posterity of this scion of Kwei
Will be nourished among the Keang.
In five generations they will be prosperous,
The highest ministers of Ts'e ;
After eight generations,
There will be none so great as they.
30. Inscription on a tripod, helonging to one of Confucius' ancestors. From the Tso Chuen, X. vii. 6.
In the first grade, he walked with head bowed down ;
In the second, with shoulders bent;
In the third, with his body stooping.
So he hurried along the wall, [saying],
'Thus no one will dare to insult me.
I will have gruel in this boiler,
And congee in this boiler.
To satisfy my hunger!'
31. The Forester's warning. from the Tso Chuen, XI. iv., after par.7.
Yu travelled wide and long about.
When the nine regions he laid out,
And through them led the ninefold route.
Men then their temples eafa possessed ;
Beasts ranged the grassy plains with zest,
For man and beast sweet rest wils found.
And virtue reigned the kingdom round.
Then took E E the emperor's place ;
His sole pursuit the wild beasts' chase.
The people's care he quite forgot;
Of does and stags alone he thought.
War and such pastimes we should flee;
The rule of Hea soon passed from E.
A forester, these lines I pen.
And offer to my king's good men,
32. The Cow-feeder's song. By a Worthy in disguise, seeking advancement. Said to be from Hwae Nan-tsze. Found in the 太平御览，卷五百七十二.
On the bare southern hill,
The white rocks gleam.
Born when no Yaou and Shun resign their thrones,
With a short and single garment of cloth, reaching to my calf,
From morning to midnight I feed my cattle.
Long is the night; --when will it be dawn?
Mid the waters of Ts'ang-lang, the white rock shine;
There is carp, a foot and a half long.
With a single garment of tattered cloth, reaching to my calf,
From the clear morning to midnight, I eed my cattle.
Ye yellow calves, go up the hill, and lie down;--
I will be minister to the State of Ts'e.
Going out at the east gate, they rub their horns on the stone slabs,
Above are the pines and cypresses green and rare.
33. The Lute song. Sung by the wandering wife of Peh-le He. From 风俗通. Found in the 太平御览, as above.
[Sold for] five sheep-skins,
Do you remember the time of our parting,
How we cooked our brooding hen,
With the bar of our door?
Now amid riches and honours,
You forget me!
34. The Song Hea-yu, From the Narratives of the States (晋语.二).
Irresolute to please [his ruler].
He is not equal to a crow.
All collect on the umbrageous trees,
And only he on the withered trunk.
35 — 37. Hwa Yueu of Sung, and the workman. From the Tso Chuen, VII. ii. 1.
The huilders sing : —
With goggle eyes and belly vast,
The buff-coats left, he's back at last,
The whiskers long, the whiskers long
Are here, but not the buff-coats strong.
Hwa Yuen replies: —
On other bulls hides may be found,
Rhinoceroses still abound,
Those buff-coats lost was no great wound.
A builder rejoins: —
Granted that the hides you furnish,
Where, I pray, is the red varnish ?
38. Sotig of the grackles. The Tso-chuen, X. xxv. 3.
Here are grackles apace ;
The duke flies in disgrace.
Look at the grackles' wings;
To the wilds the duke flings ;
A horse one to him brings.
Look how the grackles go !
In Kan-how he is low,
Wants coat and garment now.
Behold the grackles' nest;
Far off the duke does rest.
Chow-foo has lost his toil ;
Sung-foo with pride does toil.
O the grackles so strange !
The songs to weeping change.
39. Song of builders in Sung. From the Tso Chuen, IX. xvii. after p.7.
The White of the Tsih gate
Laid on us this task
The Black in the city's midst
Would comfort our hearts.
40. Song of the Noble Lament. Said to be from the tombstone of Sun Shuh-gaou, a minister of Ts'oo.
An officer should not be covetous, and yet he should ;
An officer should be pure, and yet he should not.
Why should an officer not be covetous ?
He gets in his time a vile name.
Why should he be so ?
He leaves his descendants with a family built up.
Why should an officer be pure ?
He gets in his time a bright name.
Why should he not be so ?
He leaves his posterity in straits and poverty,
Wearing cloth of hair and carrying faggots.
A covetous officer rolls in wealth ;
A pure officer is poor.
Saw you not the premier of Ts'oo, Sun Shuh-gaou,
How thrifty and pure he was, not receiving a cash !
43. Two songs on Tsze-ch'an by the people of Ch'ing, From the Tso Chuen, IX. XXX., at the end.
We must take our robes and caps, and hide them all away;
We must count our fields by fives, and own a mutual sway ;
We'll gladly join with him who this Tsze-ch'an will slay.
By and by their words were: —
'Tis Tsze-ch'an who our children trains;
Our fields to Tsze-ch'an owe their grains ;
Did Tsze-ch'an die, who'd take the reins ?
Tsze-ch'an was only a little anterior to Confucius, and the pieces which follow relate to the sage himself, to his times, and to subjects of a later date. The preceding pieces are different in style from the odes of the She, and hardly one of them
is introduced with the formula 詩曰, which so frequently introduces quotations from the acknowledged Book of Poetry.