Back to collection

The Book of Songs 詩經

小雅‧節南山之什‧何人斯 Minor odes of the kingdom - Jie Nan Shan Zhi Shen - He Ren Si

Click on any word to see more details.



What man was that?
His mind is full of dangerous devices.
Why did he approach my dam,
Without entering my gate?
Of whom is he a follower?
I venture to say, - of Bao.


Those two follow each other in their goings; -
Which of them wrought me this calamity?
Why came he to my dam,
Without entering to condole with me?
Our former relations were different from the present,
When he will have nothing to do with me.


What man was it?
Why came he to the path inside my gate?
I heard his voice,
But did not see his person.
He is not ashamed before men;
He does not stand in awe of Heaven.


What man was it?
He is like a violent wind.
Why came he not from the north?
Or why not from the south?
Why did he approach my dam,
Doing nothing but perturb my mind?


You go along slowly,
And yet you have not leisure to stop!
You go along rapidly,
And yet you have leisure to grease your wheels!
If you would come to me but once! -
Why am I kept in a state of expectation?

If on your return you entered my house,
My heart would be relieved.
When on your return you do not enter it,
It is hard to understand your denial.
If you would come to me but once,
It would set me at rest.

The elder of us blew the porcelain whistle,
And the younger blew the bamboo flute;
I was as if strung on the same string with you.
If indeed you do not understand me,
Here are the three creatures [for sacrifice],
And I will take an oath to you.


If you were an imp or a water-bow,
You could not be got at.
But when one with face and eyes stands opposite to another,
The man can be seen through and through.
I have made this good song,
To probe to the utmost your veerings and turnings.


English translation: James Legge

Dictionary cache status: not loaded

Glossary and Other Vocabulary