Red Cliff in mist
Cherishing the Past at Red Cliff
To the tune "Recalling Her Charms," Cherishing the Past at Red Cliff
The great river flows east,
Its waves scouring away
The dashing heroes of a thousand ages.
West of the abandoned fortifications,
People say, is
Master Zhou's Red Cliff of the Three Kindoms.
Crags and boulders poke through the sky,
Frightening waves pound the bank,
Enveloping a thousand piles of snow.
The river and mountains are like a painting,
How many brave warriors were here!
Dimly I pictured Gongjin then:
He had just married Little Qiao,
Valor shone everywhere in his bearing.
His fan of plumes, kerchief of silk--
As he chatted and laughed,
Masts and hulls became flying ashes and smoke.
My soul wanders the ancient realm,
So full of feeling, others will laugh at me,
My hair turns grey prematurely.
Life is like a dream,
Let me pour a libation to the river moon.
Niànnújiāo Chìbì Huái Gǔ
Sū Shì 1036-1101
Dà jiāng dōng qù,
Làng táo jìn
Qiāngǔ fēngliú rénwù.
Gù lěi xī biān,
Rén dào shì
Sānguó Zhōuláng Chìbì.
Luàn shí chuān kōng,
Jīng tāo pāi àn,
Juǎn qǐ qiān duī xuě.
Jiāngshān rú huà,
Yìshí duōshǎo háojié.
Yáo xiǎng Gōngjǐn dángnián,
Xiǎoqiáo chū jiào liǎo,
Xióng zī yīng fā,
Yǔ shàn guān jīn,
Qiánglú huī fēi yān miè.
Gù guó shén yóu,
Duōqíng yīng xiào wǒ,
Zǎo shēng huá fà.
Rénshēng rú mèng,
Yì zūn huái lěi jiāng yuè.
From Ron Egan's definitive book on Su Shi (Su Dongpo), Word Image and Deed In The Life Of Su Shi, Harvard University Press. Used with permission. Professor Egan teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara, California.