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The Book of Songs 詩經

小雅‧南有嘉魚之什‧吉日 Minor odes of the kingdom - Nan You Jia Yu Zhi Shen - Ji Ri

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A lucky day was wu,
And we sacrificed on it to the Ruler [of horses], and prayed.
Our hunting carriages were good;
The team for each was in fine condition.
We would ascend the greatest heights,
And pursue the herds [of the game].


A lucky day was geng-wu.
We had selected our horses;
The haunts of the animals,
Where the does and stags lay numerous,
The grounds by the Qi and the Ju, -
That was the place for the son of Heaven [to hunt].


We looked to the midst of the plain,
Where the animals were large and abundant,
Now rushing about, now waiting together,
Here in threes, there in twos.
We led on all our attendants,
To give pleasure to the son of Heaven.


We have bent our bows;
We have our arrows on the string.
Here is a small boar transifixed;
There is a large rhinoceros killed.
The spoil will be presented to the visitors and guests,
Along with the cup of sweet wine.


English translation: James Legge

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