Confucius

(551– 479 ( BC) / China)

A Festal Ode


With sounds of happiness the deer
Browse on the celery of the meads.
A nobler feast is furnished here,
With guests renowned for noble deeds.
The lutes are struck; the organ blows,
Till all its tongues in movement heave.
Each basket loaded stands, and shows
The precious gifts the guests receive.
They love me and my mind will teach,
How duty's highest aim to reach.

With sounds of happiness the deer
The southern-wood crop in the meads,
What noble guests surround me here,
Distinguished for their worthy deeds!
From them my people learn to fly
Whate'er is mean; to chiefs they give
A model and a pattern high;--
They show the life they ought to live.
Then fill their cups with spirits rare,
Till each the banquet's joy shall share.

With sounds of happiness the deer
The salsola crop in the fields.
What noble guests surround me here!
Each lute for them its music yields.
Sound, sound the lutes, or great or small.
The joy harmonious to prolong;--

And with my spirits rich crown all
The cups to cheer the festive throng.
Let each retire with gladdened heart,
In his own sphere to play his part.

Submitted: Saturday, September 18, 2010

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