八月十五夜贈張功曹 On the Festival of the Moon to Sub-official Zhang

韓愈 Han Yu

The fine clouds have opened and the River of Stars is gone,
xiān yún sì juǎn tiān wú hé ,
A clear wind blows across the sky, and the moon widens its wave,
qīng fēng chuī kōng yuè shū bō 。
The sand is smooth, the water still, no sound and no shadow,
shā píng shuǐ xī shēng yǐng jué ,
As I offer you a cup of wine, asking you to sing.
yī bēi xiāng shǔ jūn dāng gē 。
But so sad is this song of yours and so bitter your voice
jūn gē shēng suān cí qiě kǔ ,
That before I finish listening my tears have become a rain:
bù néng tīng zhōng lèi rú yǔ 。
"Where Lake Dongting is joined to the sky by the lofty Nine-Doubt Mountain,
dòng tíng lián tiān jiǔ yí gāo ,
Dragons, crocodiles, rise and sink, apes, flying foxes, whimper....
jiāo lóng chū méi xīng wú hào 。
At a ten to one risk of death, I have reached my official post,
shí shēng jiǔ sǐ dào guān suǒ ,
Where lonely I live and hushed, as though I were in hiding.
yōu jū mò mò rú cáng táo 。
I leave my bed, afraid of snakes; I eat, fearing poisons;
xià chuáng wèi shé shí wèi yào ,
The air of the lake is putrid, breathing its evil odours....
hǎi qì shī zhé xūn xīng sāo 。
Yesterday, by the district office, the great drum was announcing
zuó zhě zhōu qián chuí dà gǔ ,
The crowning of an emperor, a change in the realm.
sì huáng jì shèng dēng kuí gāo 。
The edict granting pardons runs three hundred miles a day,
shè shū yī rì xíng wàn lǐ ,
All those who were to die have had their sentences commuted,
zuì cóng dà pì jiē chú sǐ 。
The unseated are promoted and exiles are recalled,
qiān zhě zhuī huí liú zhě hái ,
Corruptions are abolished, clean officers appointed.
dí xiá dàng gòu qīng cháo bān 。
使
My superior sent my name in but the governor would not listen
zhōu jiā shēn míng shǐ jiā yì ,
And has only transferred me to this barbaric place.
kǎn kē qí dé yí jīng mán 。
My rank is very low and useless to refer to;
pàn sī bēi guān bù kān shuō ,
They might punish me with lashes in the dust of the street.
wèi miǎn chuí chǔ chén āi jiān 。
Most of my fellow exiles are now returning home –
tóng shí bèi liú duō shàng dào ,
A journey which, to me, is a heaven beyond climbing."
tiān lù yōu xiǎn nán zhuī pān 。
...Stop your song, I beg you, and listen to mine,
jūn gē qiě xiū tīng wǒ gē ,
A song that is utterly different from yours:
wǒ gē jīn yǔ jūn shū kē 。
"Tonight is the loveliest moon of the year.
yī nián míng yuè jīn xiāo duō ,
All else is with fate, not ours to control;
rén shēng yóu mìng fēi yóu tā ;
But, refusing this wine, may we choose more tomorrow?"
yǒu jiǔ bù yǐn nài míng hé ?

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