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The Book of Songs 詩經

小雅‧節南山之什‧巷伯 Minor odes of the kingdom - Jie Nan Shan Zhi Shen - Xiang Bo

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A few elegant lines,
May be made out to be shell-embroidery.
Those slanderers,
Have gone to great excess.

A few diverging points,
May be made out to be the southern Sieve.
Those slanderers!
Who devised their schemes for them?


With babbling mouths you go about,
Scheming and wishing to slander others,
[But] be careful of your words; -
[People] will [yet] say that you are untruthful.


Clever you are, and ever changing.
In your schemes and wishes to slander.
They receive it [now] indeed,
But by and by it will turn to your own hurt.


The proud are delighted,
And the troubled are in sorrow.
O azure Heaven! O azure Heaven!
Look on those proud men,
Pity those troubled.


Those slanderers!
Who devised their schemes for them?
I would take those slanderers,
And throw them to wolves and tigers.
If these refused to devour them,
I would cast them into the north.
If the north refused to receive them,
I would throw them into the hands of great [Heaven].


The way through the willow garden,
Lies near the acred height.
I, the eunuch Meng-zi,
Have made this poem.
All ye officers,
Reverently hearken to it.


English translation: James Legge

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