唐宋詞英譯 (張暢繁)

Tang and Song Ci Poems (Translated by E. C. Chang)

李煜  破陣子

四十年來家國,三千里地山河。鳳閣龍樓連霄漢,玉樹瓊枝作煙蘿。幾曾識干戈? 一旦歸為臣虜,沈腰潘鬢消磨。最是倉皇辭廟日,教坊猶奏別離歌。垂淚對宮娥。

Farewell Song

(Tune: Po Zhen Zi )
by Li Yu
tr.  E C. Chang

Forty years of family and reign.
Three thousand li *of river and mountainous scenes.
Phoenix pavilions and dragon towers rose to the sky.
Deep into the mist were beautiful trees,
flowery branches, and vines.
How little I knew about weapons and military might?

Suddenly I have become a captured prisoner.
So emaciated I now have the look of Shen’s slender waist
and Pan’s hoary hair.**
How could I forget the day I hurriedly
left my ancestral shrine?
The imperial musicians played farewell songs
as we said goodbye.
I faced my court ladies with tears in my eyes.

*li is a Chinese unit of length that is equivalent to about half kilometer.
**Shen Yue (441-513) was an official and scholar of the Liang Dynasty.
Pan Yue (247-300), known for his attractive appearance, was a scholar in the Jin Dynasty.

Bilingual analysis of Li Yu's Farewell Song

李煜    虞美人


My Lost Kingdom

(Tune: Yu Mei Ren)
by Li Yu
Tr. E. C. Chang

Spring flowers and autumn moon:
When will this cycle be over?
So many past events to remember!
East wind again pierced through
the small tower last night.
It was so unbearable to think of my
lost kingdom in bright moonlight.
Carved railings and jade steps
should still be there.
Beautiful faces can no longer be as fair.
Ask me how much sorrow can I bear?
It is like a river full of spring water,
flowing eastward forever!

李煜  浪淘沙

往事只堪哀。 對景難排。秋風庭院蘚侵階。一任珠帘閒不捲,終日誰來。 金劍已沉埋。壯氣蒿萊。 晚涼天淨月華開。想得玉樓瑤殿影, 空照秦淮。

Sad feelings

(Tune: Lang Tao Sha)
Li Yu
tr. E. C. Chang

Past events can only evoke sad feelings.
Their associations with the scene
at this moment can be overwhelming.
As the autumn wind blows, the courtyard steps
are overrun with green moss.
Just let the beaded screen hanging idly and unrolled.
From morning to night, no face will show!

My golden sword is already buried deep.
In the jungle, there lies my heroic spirit.
It is cool at night and the moon is full and bright.
Even if I could see the shadows of those
splendid buildings and palace hall,
they could only be seen in vain over the Qinhuai River*.

溫庭筠   夢江南


So Many Regrets

Tune: “Meng Jiang Nan”
Wen Tingyun
tr. E. C. Chang

Thousands and thousands of regrets.
The most painful one stays in the remote corner.
Mountain and moon know nothing
about what is on my mind.
Rain and wind blow down flowers
in front of my eyes.
The emerald clouds sway slantwise in the sky.

韋庄  菩薩蠻

勸君今夜須沉醉。樽前莫話明朝事。珍重主人心。酒深情亦深。 須愁春漏短。莫訴金杯滿。遇酒且呵呵。人生能幾何?

Get Intoxicated

Tune: “Pu Sa Man”
Wei Zhuang
tr. E.C. Chang

Get drunk tonight to drive away sorrow.
Facing a wine jar, talk not about tomorrow.
Your goodwill should be taken to heart.
Your wine jar is deep, but your hospitality deeper.

Be aware of the short duration of spring.
Don’t complain of a golden wine cup filled to the brim.
Laugh out loud whenever you are offered wine.
How many times can it be repeated in life?

馮延巳  鵲踏枝

誰道閒情拋棄久。每到春來,惆悵還依舊。日日花前常病酒。不辭鏡裡朱顏瘦。 河畔青蕪堤上柳。為問新愁,何事年年有。獨立小橋風滿袖。平林新月人歸後。

Feelings of Melancholy

Tune: “Que Ta Zhi”
Feng Yan Si
tr. E. C. Chang

Who says that pop-up feelings
can be discarded for long?
When spring comes, my
melancholy remains strong.
I often drown myself with wine
In front of the flowers every day.
I care little that the image in the
mirror shows a thinner face.

So green is the grass by the riverside.
Willows on the bank look so nice.
Why then year after year,
new sorrow always comes along?
Standing alone by the little bridge,
I feel as though the wind fills my sleeves.
After everybody has gone home,
I see over the wooded plain the crescent moon.

馮延巳  謁金門


Uneasy Feelings

Tune: “Ye Jin Men”
Feng Yan Si
Tr. E. C. Chang

The wind suddenly blows.
A pool of spring water is ruffled with wrinkles.
On a fragrant pathway, I play
with the mandarin ducks.
I gently rub in my hand a red apricot bud.
Alone, I watch ducks fighting
by leaning on the railing.
My emerald jade hairpin is half falling.
I wait for your return the whole day,
but I have not yet seen your face.
Raising my head, I listen to what
the magpies have to say.


蘇 軾


明月幾時有?把酒問青天。不知天上宮闕,今夕是何年。我欲乘風歸去,又恐瓊樓玉宇,高處不勝寒。 起舞弄清影,何似在人間。

轉朱閣,低綺戶,照無眠。不應有恨,何事偏向別時圓。人有悲歡离合,月有陰晴圓缺,此事古難全。 但愿人長久,千里共嬋娟。

Mid-Autumn Moon

(Tune: Shui Diao Ge Tou)
by Su Shi
tr.  E. C. Chang

When did the bright moon appear for the first time?
Holding a cup of wine, I ask the blue sky:
In the celestial palace what year is it tonight?
I wish to return there by riding with the wind,
but am afraid that those beautiful buildings
up there are too high and chilly for me to stay in.
Here on earth I can dance with my
own moonlit shadow whenever I like.
Where else in the universe can I
be so carefree to please my mind?

The moon now shifts her beam from the red pavilion
to the lower window and door.
She then shines on this person who is
unable to fall asleep at all.
The moon is not supposed to hold grudges.
But why does she always show her round face
when parting is about to take place?

Separation and reunion, sadness and delight.
Ah, these are part of human life.
The moon may be in the full or on the wane.
Sometimes she is gloomy and sometimes she is bright.
Imperfections do exist since ancient times.
I can only wish we will lead a long and healthy life.
But for now, let’s enjoy moonlight together
over a thousand miles.


李清照   點絳唇(一)




(Tune: Dian Jiang Chun)
Li Qingzhao
Tr.  E. C. Chang

She got up after playing with the swing.
Feeling tired, she casually stretched
her slender hands again.
Like dewdrops keep a delicate flower wet,
her light clothes were moistened
by her own sweat.

Sensing someone was coming, in shyness,
she ran away with her unrestrained socks.
Her golden pin almost fell off.
Stopped running, she leaned against the door.
Turning her head, she sniffed a green plum
as if nothing had happened at all.


蘇 軾



A Spring Night

(Tune: Xi Jiang Yue)
By Su Shi
Tr. E.C. Chang

In the wilds, the moon shines
upon the wavelets to the brim.
Across the sky, clouds appear
intermittently clear and indistinct.
With the mudguard still in place,
my white horse gets a little excited.
I wish to sleep on the fragrant
grass after some wine.

Along the stream, what a lovely
and pleasant moonlit night!
How can I let my horse tread on
such a jade-like scene!
Having unsaddled the horse, I pillow
my head happily on the Green Willow
Bridge over the stream.
The song of a cuckoo brings me to
the spring daybreak from my dream.



纖雲弄巧,飛星傳恨。銀漢迢迢暗度。金風玉露一相逢,便勝卻、人間無數。 柔情似水,佳期如夢,忍顧鵲橋歸路。兩情若是久長時,又豈在、朝朝暮暮。

Magpie Bridge

(Tune: Que Qiao Xian)
by Qin Guan
tr. E. C.Chang

Fine clouds show their artistic faces.
Blinking stars convey their grief in space.
So wide and dim to go across the Milky Way!
Meeting once a year in autumn is surely sweeter
than numerous earthly reunions on any given day.

Their feelings are as tender as water;
their annual date is like a dream forever.
On the magpie bridge, how can they bear
to turn homeward one more time?
If mutual love will last and never die,
why need to be together day and night?


倚危亭、恨如芳草,萋萋鏟盡還生。念柳外青驄別后,水邊紅袂分時,愴然暗驚。 無端天與娉婷。夜月一帘幽夢,春風十里柔情。怎奈向、歡娛漸隨流水,素弦聲斷,翠綃香減。那堪片片飛花弄晚,朦朦殘雨籠晴。正銷凝,黃鸝又啼數聲。

One Spring Morning

(Tune: Ba Liu Zi)
by Qin Guan
tr. E. C. Chang

I lean on the high pavilion, looking afar.
My grief is like the luxuriant glasses.
You can uproot them, but they
will come back stronger.
I remember the time when we parted:
by the side of willow trees and river.
I still feel broken in my heart.

You were a beauty of grace from heaven.
Behind the curtain in moonlight,
we lived in our secluded dreams
For ten miles your tender feelings
kept me company in the breeze of spring.

Unfortunately, happy moments were gradually
gone with the flowing water.
No more sound can be heard from the
stringed instrument.
Gone is the fragrance from the kerchief
that is bluish and green.
How can I bear to look at the flowers
flying piece by piece in the evening sky?
Or the sun that is shrouded by
misty and waning rain?
Suddenly, an oriole cries a few times,
awakening me from deep thinking.


紅酥手。黃滕酒。滿城春色宮牆柳。東風惡。歡情薄。一懷愁緒,幾年离索。錯錯錯。 春如舊。人空瘦。淚痕紅浥鮫綃透。桃花落。閒池閣。山盟雖在,錦書難托。莫莫莫。

Where to Send My Letter?

(Tune: Chai Tou Feng)
by Lu You
tr. E. C. Chang

Your pinkish and smooth hand
brought me some wine of a precious brand.
The whole city is filled with the colors of spring.
But the willows are separated by
an imperial wall from within.
The east wind is vile.
No longer can we be together having good time.
My mind is full of sorrowful thoughts.
How can one bear several years of separation by force?
It is wrong, it’s wrong, it’s all wrong!

Spring is still the same.
You and I grow thin in vain.
Your silken kerchief is soaked in red
with traces of rouged tears.
Peach flowers will fall.
The pond and pavilion will not be visited any more.
The vow between us remains true.
But how can letters get through?
It is over, it is over, it is all over!





Making Up the Feelings of Sorrow

(Tune: Cai Sang Zi)
by Xing Qi Ji
tr. E. C. Chang

As a youngster, I didn’t know the sorrow of life.
Up one storey, I climbed.
Up one storey, I climbed.

I made up feelings of sorrow to fit my lyrical lines.
Now that I have tasted sorrows of all kinds,
before I talk, I halt.
Before I talk, I halt.
I say, instead, “What a cool day in the fall!”





Feelings of Uneasiness

(Tune: Die Lian Hua)
by Ouyang Xiu
tr. E.C. Chang

Who says that feelings of uneasiness
have permanently gone?
When spring is here,
the melancholy comes back.
I drink excessively in front
of the flowers every day.
I care little that the image in the mirror
shows a thinner face.

The grass by the riverside is so green.
Willows on the bank provide such a nice scene.
Why then there is always new sorrow to come along?
I stand by the little bridge facing the wind.
After I have returned, I see the new moon
over the plain grove starts to beam.

The Best Chinese Ci Poems: A Bilingual Approach to Interpretation and appreciation (唐宋詞雙語析賞). Translated and annotated by Edward C. Chang. Emnes Publishing, 2012. 

The Best Chinese Ci Poems: A Bilingual Approach to Interpretation and appreciation (唐宋詞雙語析賞)