Back to collection

The Book of Songs 詩經

大雅‧生民之什‧行葦 Greater odes of the kingdom - Decade Of Sheng Min - Xing Wei

Click on any word to see more details.



In thick patches are those rushes, springing by the way (-side);
Let not the cattle and sheep trample them.
Anon they will burst up; anon they will be completely formed,
With their leaves soft and glossy.
Closely related are brethren; -
Let none be absent, let all be near.
For some there are spread mats;
For some there are given stools [besides].


The mats are spread, and a second one above;
The stools are given, and there are plenty of servants.
[The guests] are pledged, and they pledge [the host] in return;
He rinses the cup, and the guests put theirs down.
Sauces and pickles are brought in,
With roast meat and broiled.
Excellent provisions there are [also] of tripe and cheek;
With singing to lutes, and with drums.

The ornamented bows are strong,
And the four arrows are all balanced.
They discharge the arrows, and all hit,
And the guests are arranged according to their skill.
The ornamented bows are drawn full,
And the four arrows are grasped in the hand.
They go straight to the mark as if planted in it,
And the quests are arranged by the humble propriety of their demeanour.


The distant descendant presides over the feast;
His sweet spirits are strong.
He fills their cups from a measure,
And prays for the hoary old [among his quests]; -
That with hoary age and wrinkled back,
They may lead on one another [to virtue], and support one another [in it];
That so their old age may be blessed,
And their bright happiness [ever] increased.



English translation: James Legge

Dictionary cache status: not loaded

Glossary and Other Vocabulary