(唐) 李商隱 (812~858)

無題          (唐)  李商隱 (812~858)

相見時難別亦難  東風無力百花殘
春蠶到死絲方盡  蠟炬成灰淚始乾

曉鏡但愁雲鬢改  夜吟應覺夜光寒
蓬山此去無多路  青鳥殷勤為探看

No Title      Li Shang Yin (812-858)         江紹倫  譯

Staying together is difficult and parting even more heart-rending
Whence the east wind blows weak how could flowers not be fading
Silkworms die not until they have spun all silks so lingering
Candles burn out only when no more tears can be dripping

A morning look into the mirror you are alarmed of locks greying
Your sad croons by night makes the moon feel unnaturally chilling
‘Tis not far to reach the legendary isles from here
Would the blue birds care to find the way for you to go there

常娥             (唐)  李商隱

雲母屏風燭影深  長河漸落曉星沉
常娥應悔偷靈藥  碧海青天夜夜心

To Cheng O the Moon Goddess           tr By S L Kong

Behind the agate screen candlelight flickers vividly
As the Milky Way vain stars fade away gradually
O Moon Goddess you ought to regret deceiving your family by taking the elixir
Night by night you are doomed to miss your dears from this side of the galaxy

無題          (唐)  李商隱

昨夜星辰昨夜風  畫樓西畔桂堂東
身無彩鳳雙飛翼  心有靈犀一點通

隔座送鉤春酒暖  分曹射覆蠟燈紅
嗟余聽鼓應官去  走馬蘭臺類轉蓬

No Title                                                tr By S L Kong

Watching last night’s starry twilight in the gentle wind
And thinking of you in your bower at the East Cassia Hall
How I wished to be with you if only I had wings
With telepathy you must have heard my inner call

Could it be when you were drinking with friends wine so warm
Or reading cup signs beside burning candles their brilliant lights shone
Alas I am hearing drums to summon me to duties officially
And mount my steed to head for the Capital however unwillingly

夜雨寄北      (唐)  李商隱

君問歸期未有期  巴山夜雨漲秋池
何當共剪西窗燭  卻話巴山夜雨時

To My Wife in the North                       tr By S L Kong

You asked me my homeward itinerary I do not know
Here in the southern country an o’ernight rain can flood all roads
O whence could we together trim the candle wick by the window
And chat about this miserable country its autumn rain so overflow

登樂遊原                李商隱

向晚意不適  驅車登古原
夕陽無限好  只是近黃昏

To Ancient Tomb Mount                      tr By S L Kong

Towards dusk I felt a sense of gloom
I drove my carriage to visit the ancient tombs
The setting sun shines its brilliance so sublime
O only if this grandeur was not a reflection of the dying time

錦瑟                         李商隱  

錦瑟無端五十絃  一絃一柱思華年
莊生曉夢迷蝴蝶  望帝春心託杜鵑

滄海月明珠有淚  藍田日暖玉生煙
此情可待成追憶  只是當時已惘然     

The Zither                                             tr By S L Kong

It is not known why the zither has fifty strings
Each string and strain evokes the vanishing times of spring
In his morning dreams Zhongtse fancied the love life of butterflies
And by-gone emperors expressed their amorous desires through cuckoo cries

In the moonlit ocean luminous pearls sadly shed tears
Across the sun-warmed fields white vapours rise
Such beautiful feelings await future memory recalls
But I was at a loss then unable to register them all

Jewelled Zither           tr By Father John Turner

Vain are the jewelled zither’s fifty strings:
Each string, each stop, bears thought of vanished things.
The sage of his loved butterflies day-dreaming:
The king that sighed his soul into a bird:
Tears that are pearls, in ocean moonlight streaming:
Jade mists the sun distils from Sapphire Sward:
What need their memory to recall today?–
A day was theirs, which is now passed away.

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6 Responses to (唐) 李商隱 (812~858)

  1. S.L. Kong says:

    I have an alternative to the last two verses for To Ancient Tomb Mount as:
    A setting sun paints a sky picture so brilliant in colour and power
    Alas it dose so only as it approach the final hour.

    May be readers will vote which version they prefer?

  2. S.L. Kong says:

    Sorry, it should be as it approaches the final hour

  3. frank yue says:

    may i submit another rendition here.

    【登樂遊原】 唐·李商隱
    向晚意不適, 驅車登古原。
    夕陽無限好, 只是近黃昏。

    Ascending the Leyou Plain Li Shangyin (813-858)
    It is almost dusk and the gloom in my heart blooms;
    I’ve driven my carriage to the old Leyou Tombs.
    The setting sun’s infinitely endearing;
    Alas, the daylight is fast disappearing!

    (tr. frank c w yue)

  4. frank yue says:

    【無題】 唐·李商隱
    相見時難別亦難﹐ 東風無力百花殘。
    春蠶到死絲方盡﹐ 蠟炬成灰淚始干。
    曉鏡但愁雲鬢改﹐ 夜吟應覺月光寒。
    蓬萊此去無多路﹐ 青鳥殷勤為探看。

    (No Title) To One Unnamed III Li Shangyin (813-858)

    For us to meet ’twas hard, it’s also hard to part;
    With east wind fading, flow’rs are dy’ng of broken heart!
    Spring worms spin till they’re old and run out of silk thread;
    Burning candles weep till no more tears they can shed.
    At dawn, sad mirror would show her cloud-hair graying;
    ‘Neath the moon, she’d feel cold while singing and praying.
    The Enchanted Isle, from here, can’t be far away —
    O Bluebird! Go and tell me what she has to say!

    (tr. frank c w yue)

  5. frank yue says:

    【夜雨寄北】 唐·李商隱
    君問歸期未有期 , 巴山夜雨漲秋池。
    何當共剪西窗燭 , 卻話巴山夜雨時。

    In the Evening Rain Writing Home to the North
    Li Shangyin (813-858)
    You asked me for my return date; I can’t see clearly beyond.
    The night rain at Ba Mountain has swollen the autumn pond.
    When we meet in candlelight by the west window again
    We’ll talk about this rain in th’ ev’ning at Ba Mountain then.

    (tr. frank c w yue)

  6. frank yue says:

    may i please revise my rendition of li shangyin’s poem, as follows, (to bring out his specific reference to ‘共剪西窗燭’ on line 3). thanks.

    【夜雨寄北】 唐·李商隱
    君問歸期未有期,
    巴山夜雨漲秋池。
    何當共剪西窗燭,
    卻話巴山夜雨時。

    In the Evening Rain Writing Home to the North
    Li Shangyin (813-858)
    You asked me of my date of return, I can’t see clearly beyond,
    The night rains in Bashan in Autumn have swollen my garden pond.
    When will we both trim the west room candle wicks again,
    And talk of the nights it rained at Bashan there and then?

    frank

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