Futile Frown* Cao Xueqin (~1715-1763)
Trans. by YK Chan 陈耀国
一个是阆苑仙葩，One is a fairyland fresh flower;
一个是美玉无瑕。the other, a flawless jadestone empower’d.
若说没奇缘， If not for mysterious destiny,
今生偏又遇着他；how in this life we again meet each other;
若说有奇缘， If destiny really acts mysteriously,
如何心事终虚化？How’s that our wishes come to naught ever?
一个枉自嗟呀， One sighs in futility;
一个空劳牵挂。 one uselessly harbors anxiety.
一个是水中月， One is a moon mirrored in water,
一个是镜中花。 one is a flower seen in the mirror.
想眼中能有多少泪珠儿，How many pearly tears from the eye
怎经得秋流到冬尽， throughout autumn till winter’s end,
春流到夏！ or throughout spring till summer’s
Music composed by Wang Liping 王立平 (1941- ) for a Chinese TV series of Dream of Red Mansions
Originally sung by Chen Li 陈力 (soprano):
Guzheng arrangement古筝曲: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvupUuXW5cY
* As the lyrics of one of the songs narrated in Chapter 5 of Cao’s Dream of Red Mansions. The songs set the fate of the twelve belles as narrated in the following chapters of the novel. (Ref: http://baike.baidu.com/view/50556.htm)
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