Passing By The Wave-Calmer's Shrine


 
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伏波山 Fuboshan on bank of Li River in Guilin

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阮偍















Passing By The Wave-Calmer's Shrine
        Nguyen De

By the river's edge the waters surge 
        and the waves lap the sky,
A single shrine stands towering up
        firm from the bank.
bronze pillars arrayed on a peak
        his merit is still recorded,
An iron ship submerged in the waters
        his fierceness is still recorded.
The vestiges of a southern vassal
        have stood tall for a thousand ages,
While the portraits from the Eastern Han
        lasted just a hundred years.
In our boat we leave the village
        and head down from the river crossing,
Thick incense condences above a golden censor
        while mist rises in the river.
 
Guò Fúbōcí
Ruǎn Tí

Jiāng tān xiōngyǒng làng jiān tian,
Yī cù chóng cí zhì ànbiān.
Tóngzhù chén shān xūn shàng jì,
Tiě chuán chénshuǐ liè yóu fù.
Nán fān jíjì gāo qiān gǔ,
Dōng Hàn túxíng zhèng bǎinián.
Kè gě zhuāng cóng jīn xià guò,
Jīn lú xiāng yù shù shēng yān.
 
Translator: Liam Kelley 翻譯者

Notes:
In Nguyen De's time there were many shrines to Ma Yuan, the Han Dynasty Wave Calming General. Today there are few. So we cannot be certain that this shrine in Guilin is the right one for this poem. However on his trip north to Peiking as an envoy from Vietnam, De passed through Guilin and this karst outcropping fits the description.

From Liam Kelley's fascinating tour through Northern Vietnam, Guangxi, Hunan and beyond in his study of Vietnamese envoy poetry, Beyond the Bronze Pillars, Envoy Poetry And The Sino-Vietnamese Relationship, University of Hawaii Press, 2005

 
 
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