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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:10 pm
by Kong Wen
Poor Cao Zhi. That was a pretty good one, although I don't like the title. Did you translate that yourself, Liu Ce?

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:21 pm
by Tyler
:lol: My translation, lets leave it at you don't want to see me atempt to translate.

Peoms of Cao Cao

Song of the Dew

Twenty kings have reigned in the House of Han,
But the former king employs a wavering man.
Like a monkey dressed in man’s attire,
He is ignorant but tricky, a perfect liar.
As he hesitates to put rebellion down,
The king is then abducted out of town.
When the rainbow lies across the sun,
The evil omen means that his life is done.
Dong Zhou usurps the power in great haste;
He kills the king and lays the capital to waste.
The House of Han is in peril during the clashes;
The ancestral temple soon is burnt to ashes.
The king has to move throne to the west,
The people sob on the way, deeply distressed.
When I look at the former capital town,
I feel a pang of sorrow for the crown.

Song of the Burial


Heroes in the east rise in revolt,
Attacking traitors like a thunderbolt.
When they raise troops to put rebellions down,
They plan to meet again in the capital town.
As the troops cannot be of one mind,
They hesitate and therefore fall behind.
They begin to fight against each other,
And even plot against their own brother.
The younger brother ascends the throne,
While the elder keeps a seal of his own.
Meanwhile, the soldiers are beset by lice,
And the people suffer worthless sacrifice.
Dead bodies scatter in the open air;
Not even cockcrow is heard anywhere.
The high death rate is beyond belief;
At thought of this, I’m benumbed with grief.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 7:34 pm
by Kong Wen
Liu Ce wrote::lol: My translation, lets leave it at you don't want to see me atempt to translate.

If you're not translating them, perhaps it would be prudent to provide a link to the site you're getting them from, or maybe even the name of the translator.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:27 pm
by Tyler
Sorry I am bad about such things. No translator given but it is from EnWei. EnWei is one of thoughs hidden gems on chinese culture sites.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 10:03 pm
by Lady Wu
The lines of the seafood one seem to be out of order. The last 3 lines you have there belong right after "with this idea rooted in the mind".

The shrimps and eels which linger in the mud,
Do not know how the seas and river flood.
How can sparrows which hop about the hedge,
Understand the flight of swans in full fledge?
With this idea rooted deep in mind,
You’ll tower over others of your kind.
If you ride to the top of the Five Mounts,
You’ll find that other mountains do not count.

Those profit-seekers, on the other hand,
Covet the wealth and power of the land.
To serve the kingdom is my lofty yearning;
To quell the country is my heartfelt burning.
When I touch my sword, it roars like thunder;
When I wave my sword, it flashes with wonder.
For those who crave beyond what wishes ban,
How can they understand the upright man?

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 11:11 pm
by Tyler
Thank you Lady Wu I completly missed that.

Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:49 am
by Lady Wu
North Wind (朔風)
- Cao Zhi

Come to me, O North Wind,
and make me yearn for the City Wei
and desire to mount a frontier horse,
and ride, fleeting, towards the north.

O South Wind, ever blowing, remind me
of the yonder lands of warmth.
How I wish to go with the birds of Yue
flittering, flying to the south!

The seasons expire, each in turn,
The stars go round in their destined paths.
It was but a short while when we said goodbye,
But I miss you, as if an era has passed—

That day when I was first brought away,
The flowers were blooming in full glory,
And now I trek back, treading in
snowflakes covering the world with purity.

Before me lies a valley of a thousand leagues,
Above me looms a cliff that meets the sky.
When the wind blows, the tumbleweed must fly
forever severed from its native ground.

Oh, I will brave the chasm with a smile
and ascend the mountain to reach the stars.
But alas, dear friend, dear friend of mine!
I will not find you there; between us lies eternity.

You loved a fragrant flower,
And I forgot not to bring it.
But as its bud first saw the world,
Cruel autumn frost destroyed it.

If you cannot turn to look at me,
Shall I compare my heart with these:
The orchid standing while all else withers,
Or the laurel defiant in bitter winter?

I would strum and sing my thoughts
But who will come and share my grief?
I could linger and pine by the stream
But why not row a boat down it?

Would I set my mind at ease!
There is none around whom I could love.
Would I not sail my sorrows away?
Alas! Never will I find a mate again.

The original Chinese:

仰彼朔風,用懷魏都, 願騁代馬,倏忽北徂。
凱風永至,思彼蠻方, 願隨越鳥,翻飛南翔。
四氣代謝,懸景運周, 別如俯仰,脫若三秋。
昔我初遷,朱華未希; 今我旋止,素雪云飛。
俯降千仞,仰登天阻, 風飄蓬飛,載離寒暑。
千仞易陟,天阻可越, 昔我同袍,今永乖別!
子好芳草,豈忘爾貽? 繁華將茂,秋霜悴之。
君不垂眷,豈云其誠? 秋蘭可喻,桂樹冬榮。
絃歌蕩思,誰與銷憂? 臨川慕思,何為泛舟?
豈無和樂,游非我鄰。 誰忘泛舟?愧無榜人。


I wrote some music for this too. If someone has an idea of where to host it, I could link it here.

Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:16 am
by Rhiannon
I forgot how much I absolutely adored the Cao's poetry; thank you. I only wish I could offer you a reasonable place to host the music you wrote!

Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:17 am
by Lady Wu
Thanks, Jaime!


Hmm, I thought I had posted this one before.

Dew on lilies --- 薤露行
- Cao Cao

For twenty ages the Han has reigned,
but inept officers now sealed her fate.
As apes in human garb they were--
knowing little, plotting great.

Indecisive, they acted not, but
caused th' abduction of the sovereign one.
Though they themselves then met their end;
the ill-omened mist having pierced the sun.

A treacherous minister then took control,
his lord he killed, the capital razed.
Shattered is the legacy of the Han,
as the sacred shrines of past rulers blazed.

The scattered people, westward moving,
can do naught but weep as they take the road.
Turning to see the walls of Luoyang,
I sigh sorrowfully as did Weizi of old.

Original Chinese:





Re: The "Three Caos'" poetry

Unread postPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:23 pm
by Tianshan Zi
I find the relative immediacy of this poem by Cao Cao to be incredibly fascinating; although he did not necessarily witness the exodus to the west from Luoyang, he lived and acted in events surrounding the incidents he mentions in the poem. Reminds me of a less-subtle Du Fu. :)