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You were august and great, О royal Woo,

And showed your matchless strength in every plan. Your father Wan, accomplished he and true,

Had on the road to triumph led the van. The heritage you from your sire obtained,

And soon the oppressive rule of Yin was staid. O’er all its hosts the victory you gained,

And, firmly 'stablished, all the land you swayed.

BOOK I.

SECTION III. THE DECADE OF MIN YU SEAOU TSZE.

TAE Min yu sëaou tsze ; narrative. APPROPRIATE TO THE YOUNG KING CHING, DECLARING HIS SENTIMENTS IN THE TEMPLE OF HIS FATHER.

The Preface says that we have here “ the heir-son presenting himself in the ancestral temple.” Of course the “heir-son" was king Ching, who was only a few years old on the death of king Woo, his father. Whether the piece was made for him on his repairing to the temple when the mourning for his father was expired, or after the expiration of the regency of the duke of Chow, we cannot tell.

Alas for me, still but a child !

For all too soon I know
The cares of the unsettled State.

Too heavy will they grow.
I shrink in sorrow from the task ;

But, O my mighty sire,
To filial virtue, all thy life,

Thou ever didst aspire.
My great grandsire, though now enshrined,

To thee still living proved,
As if in court-yard and in hall

His royal person moved,
And I, the little child, will be

As reverent night and day.
To you, great kings, such homage I

Now on your throne will pay.

II.

The Fang loh; narrative. SEEMS TO BE A SEQUEL TO THE PRECEDING PIECE. THE YOUNG KING TELLS OF HIS DIFFICULTIES AND INCOMPETENCES ; ASKS FOR COUNSEL TO HELP TO COPY THE EXAMPLE OF HIS FATHER; STATES HOW HE MEANT TO DO SO; AND CONCLUDES WITH AN APPEAL OR PRAYER TO HIS FATHER,

At the beginning of my sway,

Counsel I seek to know
How in my shrinèd father's way

My feet may surely go.
Far-reaching were, his life proclaims,

The plans of his great mind;
But how to carry out his aims

I fail as yet to find.
When most my powers I shall have tried

To reach to his grand height,
My steps will ever turn aside,

Or to the left or right.

I'm but a child, how can I hope

Aright my seat to fill,
Or with the many troubles cope

That bode disturbance still ?

O excellent and mighty sire,

To help thy son now deign!
With thy high wisdom me inspire,

And on thy throne maintain.
To thee, as ever near, I'll try

My virtue true to prove.
In court, in house, before my eye,

Thy form shall always move.

III.

The King che; narrative. THE YOUNG KING SHOWS HIS SENSE OF WHAT WAS REQUIRED OF HIM TO PRESERVE THE FAVOUR OF HEAVEN, A CONSTANT JUDGE; INTIMATES HIS GOOD PURPOSES; AND ASKS THE HELP OF HIS MINISTERS TO BE ENABLED TO FULFIL THEM.

With reverence I will go

Where duty's path is plain.

Heaven's will I clearly know;

Its favour to retain
Is hard. Let me not say

Heaven is remote on high,
Nor notices men's way.

There in the starlit sky
It round about us moves,

Inspecting all we do,
And daily disapproves

What is not just and true.
Only a child am I.

Treading in duty's way,
With effort vain I try

Due reverence to display.
Each day throughout the year,

How slight the progress seems!
But to the vision clear

I'll pass from broken gleams.
Aid then my feeble youth

To bear the heavy crown.
Teach me the right and truth

Through all my life to own.

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The Seaou pe; narrative. KING CHING ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HK HAD ERRED, AND STATES HIS PURPOSE TO BE CAREFUL IN THE FUTURE ; HE WILL GUARD AGAINST THE SLIGHT BEGINNINGS OF EVIL, AND IS PENETRATED WITH A SENSE OF HIS OWN INCOMPETENCES.

Evidently, I think, there is a reference in this piece to the king's having given a measure of credence at least to the rumours which were propagated against the fidelity of the duke of Chow, when three brothers of the duke joined the son of the last king of Yin against the new dynasty of Chow. See what is said on this subject on I. xv. II.

When of the past I think, myself I blame;
I'll guard in future 'gainst what caused me shame
I'll shun the wasp, nor do the foolish thing
By which I seemed to invite its painful sting.
It looked a wren, that I could hold unharmed ;
It grew to a fierce bird, with talons armed !
Uneasy is my head which wears the crown,
And bitter trials press me sorely down.

I received from Staffordshire another version of this piece, which gives it a more general character. It is not so historically accurate as the above version, but I think the reader will be pleased to see it.

The paste let but ittle thing painful

The past brings self-condemning thought.
In future let but good be wrought.
I will avoid the little thing
That first makes felt sin's painful sting;
For first the heart, when bent on sin,
Is like the startled, timid wren,
Which flutters with a trembling breast
Round him whose hands feel for its nest.
But bolder grown, through habit long,
'Tis like a bird with pinion strong.
A throne's temptations are too great,
And bitter evils on me wait.

V.

The Tsae shoo; narrative. THE CULTIVATION OF THE GROUND, FROM THE FIRST BREAKING OF IT UP TILL IT YIELDS ABUNDANT HARVESTS ;-AVAILABLE SPECIALLY FOR SACRIFICES AND ON FESTIVE OCCASIONS,

Whether this piece was intended to be gung on occasions of thanksgiving, or in spring when praying for a good year, cannot be determined. Opinions are divided on the point. It brings before us a series of pleasing pictures of the husbandry of those early times, and has more interest for the reader than many other pieces in the She.

The toilers come to clear the ground,
Where grass and brushwood thick abound,
Where ploughshare never yet was found.
In thousands now they gather there ;
And side by side, and pair by pair,
The roots from out the soil they tear :-
Some in the marshes lying low;
Some where the dry paths winding go;
Some where the running waters flow.
The master see, inspecting all ;
His sons, responsive to his call;
Their households also, great and small.

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