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Chapter 8 of Book 1

Origin of the Chapter's Title

The title 式微式微,胡不归 (shì wēi shì wēi , hú bú guī) is the first two lines of the poems Shi Wei I and Shi Wei II from the Classic of Poetry (Shi Jing), which is also known as Book of Songs and compiled by Confucius. Shi Wei (式微) can be translated as Evening or Gloomy Sky or Nothing Left.

Various translations of 式微式微,胡不归 are these:

  • Oh evening is upon us, oh evening is upon us!

Why can you not speed home thus?[1]

  • Gloomy sky fallen,

Why couldn’t we return home.[2]

  • Nothing left, O nothing left

Why not head for you?[3]

  • It's so late, Why have you not returned?[4]

The title could refer to Tu Shan Jing and Xiao Yao's relationship.

Chapter Content


  1. Chris Pereira
  2. DouBan Mr.Pursuing
  3. David Hinton, in Classical Chinese Poetry: An Anthology, p. 23
  4. OcKoala