These Chinese poems are printed with both the original Chinese texts and their English translation side-by-side.
醉花陰﹒重九 To the tune of Intoxicated Under the Shadow of Flowers The Double Ninth Festival 薄霧濃云愁永晝 Light mists and heavy clouds, melancholy the long dreary day, 瑞腦消金獸 In the golden censer the burning incense is dying away. 佳節又重陽 It is again time for the lovely Double Nineth festival; 代inth枕紗廚 The coolness of midnight 半夜涼出透 penetrates my screen of shear silk and chills my pillow of jade. 東籬把酒黃昏後 After drinking wine after twilight under the chrysanthemum hedge, 有暗香盈袖 My sleeves are perfumed by the faint fragrance of the plants. 莫道不消魂 Oh, I cannot say it is not enchanting, 簾卷西風 Only, when the west wind stirs the curtain, 人比黃花瘦 I see that I am more gracile than the yellow flowers. 李清照 By Li QingChow tr. Lucy Chow Ho
贈汪倫 To Wang Lun 李白乘舟將欲行 Li Po takes a boat and is about to depart 忽聞岸上踏歌聲 When suddenly he hears the sound of footsteps and singing on the shore. 桃花潭水深千尺 The water in the Peach Blossom pool is a thousand feet deep 不及汪倫送我情 But not as deep as Wang Lun's parting love for me 李白 Li Bai (Li Po, Li Tai-Po) Translated by Liu Wu-Chi Introduction to Chinese Literature Indiana University Press
菩薩蠻 To the Tune of P'u-san man
人人盡說江南好 Everyone has praise for Chiang-nan fair; 遊人只合江南老 A traveller may well get old there. 春水碧於天 The spring water is bluer than the unclouded sky. 畫船聽雨眠 In a painted barge listening to the rain I lie. 爐邊人似月 The tavern maid by the stove is fair like the moon. 皓腕凝雙雪 With arms white as frost and snow strewn. 未老莫還鄉 Do not go home before you get old; 還鄉須斷腸 If you do, your heart'll get stone cold. 韋莊 By WeiChuang tr. by C.Y. Hsu
哭殷遙 Lament for Yin Yao
人生能幾何？ How long can one man's lifetime last? 畢竟歸無形。 In the end we return to formlessness. 念君等為死， I think of you waiting to die. 萬事傷人情。 A thousand things cause me distress - 慈母未及葬， Your kind old mother's still alive. 一女纔十齡。 Your only daughter's only ten. 泱漭寒郊外， In the vast chilly wilderness 蕭條聞哭聲。 I hear the sounds of weeping men. 浮雲為蒼茫， Clouds float into a great expanse. 飛鳥不能鳴。 Birds fly but do not sing in flight. 行人何寂寞， How lonely are the travellers. 白日自淒清。 Even the sun shines cold and white. 憶昔君在時， Alas, when you still lived, and asked 問我學無生。 To study non-rebirth with me, 勸君苦不早， My exhortations were delayed- 令君無所成。 And so the end came, fruitlessly. 故人各有贈， All your old friends have brought you gifts 又不及平生。 But for your life these too are late. 負爾非一途， I've failed you in more ways than one. 痛哭返柴荊。 Weeping, I walk back to my gate.
王維 By Wang Wei tr. by Vikram Seth
採桑子 To the tune of Ts'ai-sang tzu 書博山道中壁 少年不識愁滋味 When young, I knew not the taste of sorrow, 愛上層樓 But loved to mount the high towers; 愛上層樓 I loved to mount the high towers 為賦新詞強說愁 To compose a new song, urging myself to talk about sorrow. 而今識盡愁滋味 Now that I have known all the taste of sorrow, 欲說還休 I would like to talk about it, but refrain; 欲說還休 I would like to talk about it, but refrain, 卻道天涼好個秋 And say merely: "It is chilly; what a fine autumn!" 辛棄疾詞 Tzu (ci) by Xin QiJi Tr. by Liu Wu-Chi Introduction to Chinese Literature Indiana University Press
劉方平 春怨 紗窗日落漸黃昏 金屋無人見淚痕 寂寞空庭春欲晚 梨花滿地不開門 Liu Fangping, "Spring Aversion" Through lacework windows the sun sinks, fading into the yellow dusk. In her golden chamber there is nobody to see the tear-streaked scars. Hushed and desolate, the vacant courtyard; spring will be late. Pear blossoms inundate the ground; the gate will not open. "With twilight passing her silken window, She weeps alone in her chamber of gold; For spring is departing from a desolate garden, And a drift of Pear-petals is closing a door." -Bynner & Kiang, Jade Mountain
送友人 -- 李白 青 山 橫 北 郭 白 水 繞 東 城 此 地 一 為 別 孤 蓬 萬 里 征 浮 云 游 子 意 落 日 故 人 情 揮 手 自 茲 去 蕭 蕭 班 馬 鳴 Seeing a Friend Off -- Li Bai Green mountains range beyond the northen wall. White water rushes round the eastern town. Right here is where, alone and restless, he Begins a journey of a thousand miles. While travelers' intents are fleeting clouds, A friend's affection is a setting sun. He waves good-bye, and as he goes from here, His dappled horse lets out a lonely neigh. Stephen Carlson
山鬼 The Mountain Spirit 若有人兮山之阿 There seem to be a man in the deep mountain, 被薜荔兮帶女籮 Clad in creeping vine and girded with ivy, 既含睇兮又宜笑 With a charming look and a becoming smile. 子慕予兮善窈窕 "Do you admire me for my lovely form?" 乘赤豹兮從文狸 She rides a red leopard - striped lynxes follwing behind - 辛夷車兮結桂旗 Her chariot of magnolia arrayed with banners of cassia, 被石蘭兮帶杜衡 Her cloak made of orchids and her girdle of azalea, 折芳馨兮遺所思 Calling sweet flowers for those dear in her heart. 余處幽篁兮終不見天 "I live in a bamboo grove, the sky unseen; 路險難兮獨後來 The road hither is steep and dangerous; I arrive alone and late. 表獨立兮山之上 Alone I stand on the mountain top 雲容容兮而在下 While the clouds gather beneath me. 杳冥冥兮羌晝晦 "All gloomy and dark is the day; 東風飄兮神靈雨 The east wind drifts and god sends down rain. 留靈修兮憺忘歸 Waiting for the divine one, I forget to go home. 歲既晏兮孰華予 The year is late. Who will now bedeck me? 采三秀兮於山間 "I pluck the larkspur on the mountain side, 石磊磊兮葛蔓蔓 The rocks are craggy; and the vines tangled. 怨公子兮悵忘歸 Complaining of the young lord, sadly I forget to go home. 君思我兮不得閒 You, my lord, are thinking of me; but you have no time," 山中人兮芳杜若 The man in the mountain, fragrant with sweet herb, 飲石泉兮蔭松柏 Drinks from the rocky spring, shaded by pines and firs. 君思我兮然疑作 "You, my lord, are thinking of me, but then you hesitate." 雷填填兮雨冥冥 The thunder rumbles and the rain darkens; 猿啾啾兮狖夜鳴 The gibbons mourn, howling all the night; 風颯颯兮木蕭蕭 The wind whistles and the trees are bare. 思公子兮徒離憂 "I am thing of the young lord; I sorrow in vain."
屈原 Qu Yuan