For Mother

For Mother

Wen Tianxiang (1236-1283)
 
 
This noble wife and mother’s time has come
To rise for heaven in the gods’ embrace;
Her grave forever near the hare and fox,
With tears that feel like hail upon my face.
 
 
Chinese
 
母第一百四十一
文天祥
 
何時太夫人
上天回哀眷
墓久狐兔鄰
嗚呼淚如霰
Pronunciation
 
Mǔ Dì Yī Bǎi Sì Shí Yī

Farewell to Mystic Mountain

Farewell to Mystic Mountain

Huangfu Ran (~ 716-769)
 
 
All day the water flows until it fades, unseen,
At dusk, when grass grows deep in spring and earth recedes—
At times, it’s true, the dogs will bark and chickens squawk,
But who would pull an almond nut from berry seeds?
 
 
Chinese
 
送鄭二之茅山
皇甫冉
 
水流澗終日
草長深山暮春
犬吠雞鳴幾處

Before the Duke of Zhou

Before the Duke of Zhou

Yu Xin (513-581)
 
 
One dawn I had a home; today it’s gone,
An orchid rooted out and set to burn.
As one would tell a tale of long lost friends
I live my life to watch the world turn.
 
 
Chinese
 
集周公處連句詩
庾信
 
市朝一朝變
蘭艾本同焚
故人相借問
平生如所聞
Pronunciation
 
Jí Zhōu Gōng Chǔ (Lián Jù Shī)
Yŭ Xìn

Fresh Wood (for Luo Xue)

Fresh Wood (for Luo Xue)

Wen Tianxiang (1236-1283)
 
 
A sigh, sigh sound from woods up high to low;
We close the gate and cover up with fur—
Spring feelings flow along the mountain gorge;
At dawn I rise to touch and look at her.
 
 
Chinese
 
贈羅雪崖樵青
文天祥
 
蕭蕭山下人
閉門衣裘單
春心動溪谷
曉起捫松看
Pronunciation
 

Springtime Sun

Springtime Sun

Yin Qiqi (~800)
 
 
In times of doubt I sing to spring’s fresh sun
And free the knots tied up within my gut—
Your young man’s left his home and not come back
But winter’s snow will wash the willow’s smut.
 
 
Chinese
 
陽春曲
殷七七
 
愁見唱陽春
令人離腸結
郎去未歸家
柳自飄香雪
Pronunciation
 
Yáng Chūn Qū
Yīn Qīqī
 

As Fall Begins, I Look Within

As Fall Begins, I Look Within

Li Yi (746-829)
 
 
Ten thousand fears have come to fix my life,
As on this mirrored shore I gaze uneased—
Here all I see has turned my temples white
And now it’s time to face the autumn breeze.
 
 
Chinese
 
立秋前一日覽鏡
李益
 
萬事銷身外
生涯在鏡中
唯將滿鬢雪
明日對秋風
Pronunciation
 
Lì Qiū Qián Yī Rì Lǎn Jìng

Seeing Off Guo Liangfu As He Journeys East

Seeing Off Guo Liangfu As He Journeys East

Li Duan (743-782?)
 
I’d offer you advice but nothing comes,
Your carriage quickly heads back east to Qin;
These twilight years you drive a thousand miles—
As sun sets on ten thousand homes in spring.
 
 
Chinese
 
送郭良輔下第東歸
李端
 
獻策不得意
馳車東出秦
暮年千裏客
落日萬家春
Pronunciation
 

Seeing Off My Elder Brother

Seeing Off My Elder Brother

Lu Zhaolin (634-684/686)
 
 
You’ll travel home through frontier mountain roads
To see the blooms and willows of Chang’än;
But now it’s time we part our hands goodbye,
To gaze in silent sorrow, and journey on.
 
 
Chinese
 
送二兄人蜀
盧照鄰
 
關山客子路
花柳帝王城
此中一分手
柑顧憐無聲
Pronunciation
 

Crossing the Yangtze River

Crossing the Yangtze River

Du Shenyan (645-708)
 
 
Late afternoon, this garden grove, where ancient sorrow roams;
It’s spring, but birds and blossoms too do fill the edge with dread.
Alone, expelled, down south in savage lands, my homeland far—
The Yangtze River water flow shows not its northern tread.
 
 
Chinese
 
渡湘江
杜審言
 
遲日園林悲昔遊
今春花鳥作邊愁
獨憐京國人南竄

At Yi River, Seeing Off a Friend


In ancient times a troubled king did send,
Along this very spot, a hero bold—
And though those men have drowned in time’s lost flood,
These waters now are just as dark and cold.
 
 
Chinese
 
於易水送人
駱賓王
 
此地別燕丹
壯士發衝冠
昔時人已沒
今日水猶寒
Pronunciation
 
Yú Yì Shuǐ Sòng Rén
Luò Bīn wáng
 
Cǐ dì bié yān dān
Zhuàng shì fà chōng guān

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