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The Book of Songs 《詩經》

小雅‧谷風之什‧四月 Minor odes of the kingdom - Gu Feng Zhi Shen - Si Yue



In the fourth month comes summer,
And in the sixth month the heat begins to decrease.
Were not my forefathers men?
How can they endure that I should be [thus]?


The autumn days become cold,
And the plants all decay.
Amid such distress of disorder and dispersion,
Whither can I betake myself?


The winter days are very fierce,
And the storm blows in rapid gusts.
People all are happy;
Why do I alone suffer this misery?

On the mountain are fine trees, -
Chestnut trees and plum trees.
Of their degenerating into ravening thieves,
I know not the evil cause.


Look at the water of that spring,
Sometimes clear, sometimes muddy.
I am every day coming into contact with misfortune;
How can I be happy?


Grandly flow the Jiang and the Han,
Regulators of the southern States.
Worn out as I am with service,
He yet takes no notice of me.

I am not an eagle nor a hawk,
Which flies aloft to heaven.
I am not a sturgeon, large or small,
Which can dive and hide in the deep.


On the hills are the turtle-foot and thorn ferns;
In the marshes are the medlar and the yi.
I, an officer, have made this song,
To make known my plaint.


English translation: James Legge

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