《虞美人》 听雨 (南宋) 蒋捷

少年听雨歌楼上,红烛昏罗帐。壮年听雨客舟中,江阔云低,断雁叫西风。

而今听雨僧庐下,鬓已星星也。悲欢离合总无情,一任阶前,点滴到天明。

 

 

 Tune: Lady Yu the Beauty                  Jiang Jie (13th Century)

 Listening to the rain          

[Tr. YK Chan  陈耀国译] 

When young listening to the rain as songs were sung on the floor above,

From crimson candles smoke lingered onto the canopied bed of love.

When I travelled middle-aged, listening to the rain on a passenger boat,

Above a river wide clouds hung low,

A lost goose cried as the chilly west wind blowed.

 

Now listening to the rain at the monk’s lodge,

My hair has speckled and scattered without dodge,

Sadness and happiness, separation and reunion impassion me no more.

The rain pours on the terrace galore,

then drizzles until dawn.

————————-

Note:   Joseph Needham (1900-95), “The Man Who Loved China” (a biography by Simon Winchester http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1j2zs4Xwqk), translated this poem with the help of his friends thus:

As a young man, listening to the girls in a tower
   I heard the sound of the rain,
While the red candle burned dim in the damp air.
In middle age, travelling by boat on a river,
      I listened to the rain falling, falling;
   The river was wide and clouds drifted above;
I heard the solitary cry of a teal borne on the west wind.
    And now in a cloister cell I hear the rain again,
      My hair is grey and sparse;
Sadness and Happiness, separation and reunion, all seem one,
     They move me no more.
Let the rain drop all night on the deserted pavement
    Till the day dawns.

About YK 1965

Class of WYK1965 Microbiologist (Environmental Microbiology) Honorary Research Fellow Agriculture Canada, Ottawa
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One Response to 《虞美人》 听雨 (南宋) 蒋捷

  1. frank yue says:

    hi, y k,

    nice rendition.

    may i post another attempted translation (with some different interpretations at parts). thanks.

    【虞美人·聽雨】 南宋·蔣捷 (1245?~1301?)
    少年聽雨歌樓上, 紅燭昏羅帳。
    壯年聽雨客舟中, 江闊雲低,斷雁叫西風。
    而今聽雨僧廬下, 鬢已星星也。
    悲歡離合總無情,一任階前,點滴到天明。

    Tune: Fair Lady Yu
    “Listening to the Rain” Jiang Jie (Southern Song)
    I listened to the rain in m’youth
    In romantic songhouse uncouth —
    There the silken curtains were lit
    By dim light red candles transmit.
    Middle aged, I listened again,
    In a treveller’s boat, to the rain —
    The cloud was low, the river, wide
    As a lone goose in th’ west wind cried.

    The sound of fall’ng rain I now trace
    In a monk’s quiet lodging place
    Where m’temple hair is grow’ng gray:
    Grief, joy, parting, union display
    Their non-sentimental dismay.
    Fall’ng on the steps O let the rain partake,
    Drop by drop slowly, till the day does break.

    frank

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