古柏行 Ballad of the Ancient Cypress

杜甫 Du Fu

Before Kongming's shrine stands an ancient cypress,
kǒng míng miào qián yǒu lǎo bǎi
Its branches are like green bronze, its roots just like stone.
kē rú qīng tóng gēn rú shí
The frosted bark, slippery with rain, is forty spans around,
shuāng pí liū yǔ sì shí wéi
Its blackness blends into the sky two thousand feet above.
dài sè cān tiān èr qiān chǐ
Master and servant have each already reached their time's end,
jūn chén yǐ yǔ shí jì huì
The tree, however, still remains, receiving men's devotion.
shù mù yóu wèi rén ài xī
Clouds come and bring the air of Wuxia gorge's vastness,
yún lái qì jiē wū xiá zhǎng
The moon comes out, along with the cold of snowy mountain whiteness.
yuè chū hán tōng xuě shān bái
I think back to the winding road, east of Brocade Pavilion,
yì zuó lù rào jǐn tíng dōng
Where the military master and his lord of old share a hidden temple.
xiān zhǔ wǔ hóu tóng bì gōng
Towering that trunk, those branches, on the ancient plain,
cuī wéi zhī gàn jiāo yuán gǔ
Hidden paintings, red and black, doors and windows empty.
yǎo tiǎo dān qīng hù yǒu kōng
Spreading wide, coiling down, though it holds the earth,
luò luò pán jù suī dé de
In the dim and distant heights are many violent winds.
míng míng gū gāo duō liè fēng
That which gives it its support must be heaven's strength,
fú chí zì shì shén míng lì
The reason for its uprightness, the creator's skill.
zhèng zhí yuán yīn zào huà gōng
If a great hall should teeter, wanting rafters and beams,
dà shà rú qīng yào liáng dòng
Ten thousand oxen would turn their heads towards its mountain's weight.
wàn niú huí shǒu qiū shān zhòng
Its potential unrevealed, the world's already amazed,
bù lù wén zhāng shì yǐ jīng
Nothing would stop it being felled, but what man could handle it?
wèi cí jiǎn fá shuí néng sòng
Its bitter heart cannot avoid the entry of the ants,
kǔ xīn qǐ miǎn róng lóu yǐ
宿
Its fragrant leaves have always given shelter to the phoenix.
xiāng yè zhōng jīng sù luán fèng
Ambitious scholars, reclusive hermits- neither needs to sigh;
zhì shì yōu rén mò yuàn jiē
Always it's the greatest timber that's hardest to put to use.
gǔ lái cái dà nán wèi yòng

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