THE CREATION (of mankind, or of the Chou clan) HOU TSI, John Barleycorn, settles in T’ai. DUKE LIU, the magnaminous, in Pin (allegedly about 1796 B.C.). THE DUKE SHY OF SHAO addresses King Ch’eng (possibly 1109 B.C. or thereabouts). DUKE MU OF SHAO, in time of disorder under King Li (the “changed odes” IX, X) 877-841. THE EARL OF FAN, IDEM. 1. “Prince Millet,” J. Barleycorn, Hou Tsi Mankind began when Kiang Yüan poured wine to the West sun and circling air and, against barrenness, trod the Sky’s spoor. Then, as a sudden fragrance funnelled in and to its due place, a thunder-bolt took body there to be and dawn Hou Tsi, whom she bare on his day and suckled presently. 2. Saith legend: was full moon, and effortless the first birth was as a lamb’s no pain, no strain, slit, rent, in auspice of the happy spirit in the child; the upper sky unstill, unslaked by sacrifice? intent on this kindling birth. 3. And, by tradition, he was “Cast-away” in narrow lane to lie suckled between the legs of kine and ewes. There be to attest that he was Cast-away in flat forest wherein the woodmen found (hacking at trees) Hou Tsi upon the ground and on cold ice, warmed by a bird’s plumes till the bird took flight whereon he howled to welkin with such might of sound it filled the wood-paths and the forest around. 4 Then crept aloft to the hill-paths of K’i and to High Crag whereon, to eat and mouth, planted broad beans which gave leaf suddenly. Rice was his servant, ripe, more ripe; hemp and wheat stood over the fields like tent cloths, melons gat laughing brood. 5 Was Hou Tsi’s harvest mutual process? Howkt out thick choking grass, put in the sound yellow grain that squared to husk, filled out its sleeve to full as it would burst the ears, unmoulding and tasteable bent there with weight of head durable; so had in T’ai his stead. 6 From him we have first-class seed, our classic grain: blacks, doubles, reds and whites. To keep blacks, doubles, they be stacked a-field. Red and white yield we bear a-back to barn or shoulder high, wherefore Hou made the rite yclept “return.” 7 What is our rite, become traditional? Some hull, some take from mortar, winnow or tread, some soak (or sift with ever shifting sound) and boil till steam and rising fumes abound. Some turn to augury or plunge in thought and kindle southern-wood with moon-like fat leading the ram to cross-road sacrifice on spit to turn, heating the seeds a-field so to insure next year full harvest-yield. 8 From heaped plate and clay dish the odours rise to please, in season, the power above the skies by their far-searching smell that fits the time. Hou Tsi began these rites. The folk of Chou unblemished have maintained them until now.