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The Book of Songs 《詩經》

國風‧鄘‧定之方中 Lessons from the states - Odes of Yong - Ding Zhi Fang Zhong



When Ding culminated [at night fall],
He began to build the palace at Chu.
Determining its aspects by means of the sun,
He built the mansion at Chu.
He planted about it hazel and chesnut trees,
The yi, the tong, the zi, and the varnish-tree,
Which, when cut down, might afford materials for lutes.


He ascended those old walls,
And thense surveyed [the site of ] Chu.
He surveyed Chu and Tang,
With the high hills and lofty elevations about :
He descended and examined the mulberry trees;
He then divined, and got a fortunate response;
And thus the issue has been truly good.


When the good rains had fallen,
He would order his groom,
By starlight, in the morning, to yoke his carriage,
And would then stop among the mulberry trees and fields.
But not only thus did he show what he was; -
Maintaining in his heart a profound devotion to his duties,
His tall horses and mares amounted to three thousand.


English translation: James Legge

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