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The Book of Songs 詩經

國風‧秦‧小戎 Lessons from the states - Odes of Qin - Xiao Rong

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[There is] his short war carriage; -
With the ridge-like end of its pole, elegantly bound in five places;
With its slip rings and side straps,
And the traces attached by gilt rings to the masked transverse;
With its beautiful mat of tiger's skin, and its long naves;
With its piebalds, and horses with white left feet.
When I think of my husband [thus],
Looking bland and soft as a piece of jade;
Living there in his plank house;
It sends confusion into all the corners of my heart.


His four horses are in very fine condition,
And the six reins are in the hand [of the charioteer].
Piebald, and bay with black mane, are the insides;
Yellow with black mouth, and black, are the outsides;
Side by side are placed the dragon-figured shields;
Gilt are the buckles for the inner reins.
I think of my husband [thus],
Looking so mild in the cities there.
What time can be fixed for his return?
Oh! how I think of him!


His mail-covered team moves in great harmony;
There are the trident spears with their gilt ends;
And the beautiful feather-figured shield;
With the tiger-skin bow-case, and the carved metal ornaments on its front.
The two bows are placed in the case,
Bound with string to their bamboo frames.
I think of my husband,
When I lie down and rise up.
Tranquil and serene is the good man,
With his virtuous fame spread far and near.


English translation: James Legge

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