For My Nephew, Xiang, on My Demotion and Arrival at Languan Pass


 
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Mountain Pass south of Changan

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韓愈















For My Nephew, Xiang, on My Demotion and Arrival at Languan Pass
Han Yu 768-824

I submitted a memorial to the palace at dawn
By dusk I was bound for Chaozhou two thousand miles away
I hoped to ride the court of evil ways
But dared in my senility to begrudge a few more years
Qinling clouds now bar me from my home
Languan snows still block the path ahead
There must be a reason you've traveled this far
No doubt to collect my bones from some infested river
 
Zuǒqiān Zhì Lánguān Shì Zhísūn Xiāng
Hán Yù 768-824

Yì fēng zhāozòu jiǔ zhòng tiān,
Xī biǎn Cháozhōu lù bāqiān.
Yù wéi shèngmíng chú bìshì,
Kěn jiāng shuāixiǔ xī cánnián!
Yún héng Qínlǐng jiā hé zài?
Xuě yǒng Lánguān mǎ bù qián.
Zhī rǔ yuǎn lái yīng yǒu yì,
Hǎo shōu wú gǔ zhàng jiāng biān.
 
Translator: Red Pine-Bill Porter 赤松

Notes:
韩愈一生,以辟佛为己任,晚年上《论佛骨表》,力谏宪宗“迎佛骨人大内”,触犯“人主之怒”,几被定为死罪,经裴度等人说情,才由刑部侍郎贬为潮州刺史。

  潮州在今广东东部,距当时京师长安确有八千里之遥,那路途的困顿是可想而知的。当韩愈到达离京师不远的蓝田县时,他的侄孙韩湘,赶来同行。韩愈此时,悲歌当哭,慷慨激昂地写下这首名篇。



From Poems of the Masters, one of the best books of general translations of Chinese poems into English. detailed notes on each poem and all poems are displayed in the original Chinese.

Translated by Red Pine, published by Copper Canyon Press.

 
 
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