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The Book of Songs 詩經

周頌‧閔予小子之什‧載芟 Sacrificial odes of Zhou - Decade Of Min Yu Xiao Zi - Zai Shan

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They clear away the grass and the bushes;
And the ground is laid open by their ploughs.
In thousands of pairs they remove the roots,
Some in the low wet lands, some along the dykes.
There are the master and his eldest son;
His younger sons, and all their children;
Their strong helpers, and their hired servants.
How the noise of their eating the viands brought to them resounds!
[The husbands] think lovingly of their wives;
[The wives] keep close to their husbands.
[Then] with their sharp plough-shares,
They set to work on the south-lying acres.
They sow their different kinds of grain,
Each seed containing in it a germ of life.
In unbroken lines rises the blade,
And well-nourished the stalks grow long.
Luxuriant looks the young grain,
And the weeders go among it in multitudes.
Then come the reapers in crowds,
And the grain is piled up the fields,
Myriads, and hundreds of thousands, and millions [of stacks];
For spirits and for sweet spirits,
To offer to our ancestors, male and female,
And to provide for all ceremonies.
Fragrant is their aroma,
Enhancing the glory of the State.
Like pepper is their smell,
To give comfort to the aged.
It is not here only that there is this [abundance];
It is not now only that there is such a time:
From of old it has been thus.


English translation: James Legge

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