Ci Poems with English Translation by E. C. Chang
In the Same Boat
(Tune: Lin Jiang Xian)
So unpredictable are human events.
The sequence of the four seasons is the same.
So many times the cycle of desolation
has come and left the maple woods.
Spring has returned, but the snowstorm
has remained aggressive.
Flowers were in bloom the last several days,
their petals now have fallen in disarray.
The end of autumn is the time to pay
attention to dew and frost.
The chrysanthemums are no longer as
charming as they once were.
With a warm cup of wine in our hands at night,
we talk about the ups and downs of our life.
Like sitting on a boat facing each other
we can weather many storms together.
The Wild Geese
(Bu Shuan Zi)
From where did the two
wild geese come?
They have flown over many
They are not afraid of the cold river
nor the evening dew.
They have no fear facing
the strong wind.
What danger lies ahead
is hard to measure.
All they care about is to be
with each other day and night.
They must have the true love
as deep as the sea.
That’s why they can calmly face
all sorts of adversity.
(Tune: Zhe gu Tian)
Yellow leaves keep drifting.
Dogs can be heard barking.
Autumn cicadas no longer chirp.
Why utter bitter tunes in vain?
Orioles and swallows are gone.
Who can blame them for leaving the scene?
She is concerned that he left without a trace
and may not come back again.
The weather has turned cold.
Soon will be frequent frost and snow.
The wind brushes her scarf as she
leans on the bridge.
She can cut a thousand tangled silk threads,
but her sorrows will still remain.
Fresh in her memory are the traces
of tears on the day of his leaving.
Journey to a Distant Land
(Tune: Ta Suo Xing)
The night curtain has fallen.
The sound of string has remained.
As the autumn wind brushes the lake,
the reflecting moon shows its wrinkled face.
Not a sound of birds from the grove.
Sliver moonlight has turned the ground
into frost and snow.
Tomorrow you will be on your way
to a distant land.
How can I not feel the parting pain?
How can my mood and emotion be the same?
May God keep you safe from now on!
Wait until we are reunited
in a foreign town,
then we can talk about what we have
missed for so long.
(Tune:Yu Mei Ren)
Sometimes the outcome did not
turn out to be the way we had planned.
We should accept it as it is
without undue self-blame.
If we often feel guilty, we will
suppress our chest.
When we are down, we may not
see things clearly at our best.
Life is full of regrets.
Don’t make it difficult for the heart to bear.
Old feelings may not be washed away
by a river full of water.
With the spring water from the eastward-flowing river,
we can cleanse our mind forever.
The Long River of History
(Tune: Qin Yuan Chun )
The long river of history,
deep and boundless,
never ceases running.
It has been surging ahead for
thousands of years.
It has witnessed all changes
in nature and in human affairs.
It has given testimony that
heroes and great individuals
of all past generations
have eventually become part of
the ancient mounds.
It shows how clever individuals
employed schemes and plots
to take advantage of the time
by striving for supremacy and success.
It also shows how through history
disputes and hates were handled
by different races and sects.
What a pity that different faiths
have become mortal enemies.
Let’s hope that those who are in power,
as well as the general public,
have in mind the welfare and
interest of the common people.
It is hoped that we all make effort
to preserve the nature.
We must take care of the
greenhouse effects in our environment.
Looking back at the beautiful rivers and mountains,
do they not deserve our attention?
(Tune: Lin Jiang Xian)
A life span of one hundred years is still limited and short.
Life replacement will never be exhausted.
Hastily we came; hastily we will leave.
The end of our path will always be the same,
but no one will follow exactly the same journey.
Withering branches and falling leaves will transform
themselves to nourish future plants.
Recycling is the law of nature for all living things.
Small or big, we can make a difference to ourselves or other human beings.
Don’t ever feel that your effort will be wasted.
For every drop of water coming together can fill a eastward-flowing river.
On the Road
(Tune: Lin Jiang Xian)
At dusk, fallen leaves drift down in the cold river.
On the road, I feel sad that autumn will soon be over.
Waves upon waves, the water never ceases rushing forward.
The slanting sun continues to shine upon the great earth.
The light boat takes a smooth ride on the running water.
The withering and thriving of grasses and trees follow their predictable cycles.
There will always be changes and replacements in life.
Ah, good time and scenes will not last forever.
Time will continue to fly like flowing water.
Still I love the evening scenery for it is so free and casual.
(Tune: Xi Jiang Yue)
The world is always full of
disputes and hates.
Sufferings and disasters
occur every day.
Compromises appear dim
to avoid wars.
Since ancient time, human nature
has not changed at all.
Religious intolerance still exits
in the world today.
Many believe that their religion
is the only real faith.
Since hostility is as deep as the sea,
how can the heart be big enough
to accommodate good deeds?