Eleanor Widmer 8:30 a.m., March 23
- Book of Odes
Shi Jing: written for altar sacrifice to ancestors
Two poems from “The Book of Odes”
How Pure and Still
- How pure and still are the solemn temples,
- In their strong solidity and minute completeness!
- Highly distinguished was Jiang Yuan,
- Of virtue undeflected.
- God regarded her with favour;
- And without injury or hurt,
- Immediately, when her months were fulfilled,
- She gave birth to Hou-ji.
- On him were conferred all blessings, -
- [To know] how the millet ripened early, and the sacrificial millet late,
- How first to sow pulse, and then wheat.
- Anon he was invested with an inferior State,
- And taught the people how to sow and to reap,
- The millet and the sacrificial millet,
- Rice and the black millet;
- Ere long all over the whole country;
- [Thus] continuing the work of Yu.
Among the Descendants
- Among the descendants of Hou-ji,
- There was king Da,
- Dwelling on the south of [mount] Qi,
- Where the clipping of Shang began.
- In process of time Wen and Wu,
- Continued the work of king Da,
- And [the purpose of] Heaven was carried out in its time,
- In the plain of Mu.
- “Have no doubts, no anxieties,” [it was said];
- “God is with you.”
- [Wu] disposed of the troops of Shang;
- He and his men shared equally in the achievement.
- [Then] king [Cheng] said, “My uncle,
- I will set up your eldest son,
- And make him marquis of Lu.
- I will greatly enlarge your territory there,
- To be a help and support to the House of Zhou.”