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The Book of Songs 詩經

小雅‧谷風之什‧信南山 Minor odes of the kingdom - Gu Feng Zhi Shen - Xin Nan Shan

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Yes, [all about] that southern hill,
Was made manageable by Yu.
Its plains and marshes being opened up,
It was made into fields by the distant descendant.
We define their boundaries, we form their smaller divisions,
And make the acres lie, here to the south, there to the east.


The heavens over head are one arch of clouds,
Snowing in multitudinous flakes.
There is superadded the drizzling rain.
When [the land] has received the moistening,
Soaking influence abundantly,
It produces all our kinds of grain.


The boundaries and smaller divisions are nicely adjusted,
And the millets yield abundant crops,
The harvest of the distant descendant.
We proceed to make therewith spirits and food,
To supply our representatives of the dead, and our guests; -
To obtain long life, extending over myriads of years.


In the midst of the fields are the huts,
And along the bounding divisions are gourds.
The fruits is sliced and pickled,
To be presented to our great ancestors,
That their distant descendant may have long life,
And receive the blessing of Heaven.


We sacrifice [first] with pure spirits,
And then follow with a red bull;
Offering them to our ancestors.
[Our lord] holds the knife with tinkling bells,
To lay open the hair of the victim,
And takes its flesh and fat.


Then we present, then we offer;
All round the fragrance is diffused.
Complete and brilliant is the sacrificial service;
Grandly come our ancestors.
They will reward [their descendant] with great blessing, -
Long life, years without end.


English translation: James Legge

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