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The Book of Songs 詩經

小雅‧鹿鳴之什‧伐木 Minor odes of the kingdom - Decade Of Lu Ming - Fa Mu

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On the trees go the blows zheng-zheng;
And the birds cry out ying-ying.
One issues from the dark valley,
And removes to the lofty tree,
While ying goes its cry,
Seeking with its voice its companion.
Look at the bird,
Bird as it is, seeking with its voice its companion;
And shall a man,
Not seek to have his friends?
Spiritual beings will then hearken to him;
He shall have harmony and peace.


Xu-xu they go, as they fell the trees.
I have strained off my spirits, till they are fine,
And the fatted lambs are provided,
To which to invite my paternal uncles.
It is better that something should keep them from coming,
Than that I should not have regarded them.
Oh! brightly I have sprinkled and swept my courtyard,
And arranged my viands, with eight dishes of grain, along with my fatted meat,
To which to invite my maternal uncles.
It is better that something should keep them from coming,
Than that there should be blame attaching to me.


They fell down the trees along the hill-side.
I have strained off my spirits in abundance;
The dishes stand in rows,
And none of my brethren are absent.
The loss of kindly feeling among people,
May arise from faults in the matter of dry provisions.
If I have spirits I strain them, do I;
If I have no spirits, I buy them, do I;
I make the drums beat, do I;
I lead on the dance, do I.
Whenever we have leisure,
Let us drink the sparkling spirits.


English translation: James Legge

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