相見歡 《虞美人》 (南唐) 李煜 (937-978) tr. byPhilip Lee

春花秋月何時了  往事知多少
小樓昨夜又東風  故國不堪回首月明中

雕欄玉砌應猶在  只是朱顏改
問君能有幾多愁  恰似一江春水向東流

Original Chinese Poem was composed by the last Emperor of South Tong Dynasty, Lee Yuk, ( a soliloquy the defeated emperor composed when he was imprisoned ) translated by Philip Lee (1960)

Spring flowers and autumn moon came and went in a repetitious span;
How much of the past do we really understand;
The breeze of spring has arrived again to my tiny abode where I am an imprisoned wizen;
Under the shining moon, it was a melancholy moment to reminisce my former empire in the south of far horizons;

My jade palace and the chattel of beauties should still be present and within range;
Except that my youthful appearance and the color of my palace had gone through a holistic change;
When asked how much more worries should I still be feeling much unease;
It is like the unlimited mass of water of the Yang Tze River perpetuating its torrent to the east.

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One Response to 相見歡 《虞美人》 (南唐) 李煜 (937-978) tr. byPhilip Lee

  1. frank yue says:

    虞美人 南唐·李煜
    春花秋月何时了, 往事知多少。
    小楼昨夜又东风, 故国不堪回首月明中。

    雕栏玉砌应犹在, 只是朱颜改。
    问君能有几多愁, 恰似一江春水向东流。

    Tune: Fair Lady Yu Li Yu (South Tang)
    When will Spring flow’rs and Autumn moon e’er end?
    Of past events how many were known then?
    Small attic was swept again by east wind last night;
    I couldn’t bear recalling my lost Kingdom in clear moon light!

    Carved balustrades and jade ornaments should still be there;
    Changed only are the pink faces fair.
    How much sorrows can one e’er have unreleased?
    Just like the ceaseless Spring river rushing east!

    (tr. frank c w yue)

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