游子吟 (唐)孟郊(751-814)

慈母手中線     遊子身上衣
臨行密密縫     意恐遲遲歸
誰言寸草心     報得三春暉 

A Roamer Sings         Meng Jiao(751-814)            江紹倫譯

Needle and thread in mother’s hand
Preparing clothes for a son going to far away land
Sewing stitches quicken as parting draws near
His return may be in delay mother fears
Who says a son’s casual affection
Is adequate in return for Mum’s undivided devotion

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2 Responses to 游子吟 (唐)孟郊(751-814)

  1. frank yue says:

    The Wanderlust Son’s Song Meng Jiao (751-814)

    The threads in a loving mother’s hand close
    Gaping holes in her wanderlust son’s clothes.
    Closer, closer the stitches, as parting’s near;
    “He might be late, late in return, I fear.”
    E’en the grass’ simple heart, you should understand,
    Longs to repay the Spring Sun’s nurturing hand!

    (tr. frank c w yue)

  2. frank yue says:

    i’d like to revise the last two lines as follows (as ‘you should understand’
    is superfluous):

    “Even the inch-long hearts of the grass demand
    Repaying the Spring Sun’s nurturing hand!”

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