The Religious Portions of the Shih King/Part I/Odes of Shang/Ode 4

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Profoundly wise were Shang, And long had there appeared the omens.

When the waters of the deluge spread vast abroad, Yû arranged and divided the regions of the land, And assigned to the exterior great states their boundaries, With their borders extending all over. Then the chief of Sung was beginning to be great, And God raised up the son , and founded Shang .

The dark king exercised an effective sway . Charged with a small state, he commanded success: Charged with a large state, he commanded success . He followed his rules of conduct without error; Wherever he inspected , they responded.

The favour of God did not leave , And in Thang was found the fit object for its display. Thang was not born too late, And his wisdom and reverence daily advanced: Brilliant was the influence of his character for long. God he revered, And God appointed him to be the model for the nine regions.

He received the rank-tokens of the states, small and large, Which depended on him like the pendants of a banner:--So did he receive the blessing of Heaven. He was neither violent nor remiss, Neither hard nor soft. Gently he spread his instructions abroad, And all dignities and riches were concentrated in him.

He received the tribute of the states, small and large, And he supported them as a strong steed : So did he receive the favour of Heaven. He displayed everywhere his valour, Unshaken, unmoved, Unterrified, unscared: All dignities were united in him.

The martial king displayed his banner, And with reverence grasped his axe. It was like a blazing fire which no one can repress. The root, with its three shoots, Could make no progress, no growth . The nine regions were effectually secured by Thang. Having smitten Wei and Kû, He dealt with Kün-wû and with Kieh of Hsiâ.

Formerly, in the middle of the period , There was a time of shaking and peril . But truly did Heaven deal with him as a son, And sent him down a high minister, Namely, Â-hăng , Who gave his assistance to the king of Shang.