Friday, 8 August 2014

秋日登吳公臺上寺遠眺 - Climbing in Autumn for a View from the Temple on the Terrace of General Wu


古 臺 搖 落 後
秋 日 望 鄉 心 
野 寺 人 來 少
雲 峰 水 隔 深
夕 陽 依 舊 壘
寒 磬 滿 空 林
惆 悵 南 朝 事
長 江 獨 至 今

This poem, written by Liu Changqing (劉長卿), was number 133 in the classic collection Three Hundred Tang Poems, which was compiled in roughly 1763, but features work from a period that began in the 7th century and spanned nearly three hundred years.

Here is a literal translation:

古 臺 搖 落 後 - old platform rocks drops back
秋 日 望 鄉 心 - autumn day hope country mind
野 寺 人 來 少 - field temple man come few
雲 峰 水 隔 深 - cloud peak water divide deep
夕 陽 依 舊 壘 - evening sun near old rampart
寒 磬 滿 空 林 - cold stone instrument fill empty forest
惆 悵 南 朝 事 - vexed regretful South face thing
長 江 獨 至 今 - long river single arrive now

And here is a translation from

So autumn breaks my homesick heart
Few pilgrims venture climbing to a temple so wild,
Up from the lake, in the mountain clouds. 
Sunset clings in the old defences,
A stone gong shivers through the empty woods. 
Of the Southern Dynasty, what remains?
Nothing but the great River. 

The poet, Liu Changqing, lived during the 8th century. He was a scholar who served under four different emperors and held the position of Governor of Suizhou in Hubei Province. Eleven of Liu's poems feature in Three Hundred Tang Poems.

劉長卿 - Liu Changqing

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