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A Moonlit Night on the Spring River 賦得春江花月夜

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By Yuan Xi from White Cloud Poetry Society | Version A | Translated by Jennifer Zeng and Damian Robin 文:白雲詩社 元曦 | 英文翻譯:曾錚 Damian Robin

文:白雲詩社 元曦 | 英文翻譯:曾錚

 

"Inspired by ancient Chinese music "春江花月夜" - "A Moonlit Night on the Spring River" (Played with Vertical Bamboo flute/Chinese Bamboo Xiao)

 

Click here to listen to the music which inspires the poem.

點擊此處收聽音樂。

 

The river scatters moon and sky, congeals them, light and wavering.

A bamboo flute brings spring by night, rolling miles of blue-green glaze.

Bright moon, a thousand rivers, thousands flowing, east-west, overflowing.

A cloud, a shadow crane(1) — a Taoist, freed to feathers, leaves the maze.

Both river, moon, forever rhythmed; sound and colour bind each other.

Clear river’s flowers skirt an islet; high sides’ grass, a luscious place.

The clasps of waves sound far, then close; at river’s edge, white rock, a stranger.

Clear breeze beyond the heavens, come and cross the river, stroke my face.

Far off, the river’s glints expand, becoming stars and cosmic stipples.

Clear river: boat, through wind and smoke. Moon sinks to river’s heart, ripples.

*******************************************************************

Version B | Translated by Jennifer Zeng and Gerard Traub

 

 

A crystal clear moon night, the river running afar,

melting into the sky

Moonlight dancing with the ripples

A note upon the bamboo flute leading us

To a thousand miles of flowing water

Rolling and beaming reflections.

 

The bright moon shines over countless rivers

All reaching to the moon

And who is that shadow flying across the clouds?

It could be a Taoist transforming into a crane(1)

Upon completion of cultivation.

 

Forever the rivers flow under the shining moon

Their ripples whispering to the moonlight

Flowers upon the islets extremely beautiful

Grasses along the riverside luxuriant and green.

 

The songs of the water singing from afar, yet so close

Who is standing beside the white rock at the edge?

Your gentle breeze from beyond the sky

Would you come down across the water and caress my cheeks?

 

Where the ripples stretching farther and stronger

Connecting to the galaxies and moving with the stars

With a small boat sailing past the wind and mist

The moon sinks into the heart of the river

Kissing every sparkling ripple.

1. A Taoist transforming into a crane: In Chinese history, legend has it that when Taoists succeeded in their cultivation, they could become immortals. Sometimes they transformed themselves into a beautiful crane and flew into the heavens, or rode upon a crane and flew away.

 

-inspired by the ancient Chinese music "A Moonlit Night on the Spring River" (Played with Vertical Bamboo flute/Chinese Bamboo Xiao)

江天渺渺江月霽    江上波光乍合離

一引洞簫春江夜    萬頃滉漾碧琉璃

明月遍照千江水    千江瀲灧月東西

雲邊鶴影誰化去    道人丹成著羽衣

江流千古月千古    月色江聲兩依依

江花渚中別樣紅    江畔高岸芳草萋

濤聲汩汩遠還近    江邊人立白石磯

天外清風如有意    隔水吹來拂面低 

望中江波增浩淼    遠接銀漢星斗移

清江一棹風煙外    月落江心生漣漪

 
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