Sunday, November 16, 2014

Classical Poem - The Lute Song by Cao Zhi


The Lute Song

The banquet has been readied in the hall
To entertain my kith and kin and all.
A festive banquet busies the kitchen house,
With cocks killing and boiling sheep and cows.

The Zheng music excites a frenzied wildness;
The Se music soothes the gentle mildness.
How the dancers dance with pretty poise;
How the singers sing with a tender voice.

In high spirits the guests begin to wine;
In good appetite the guests begin to dine.
I give the guests lots of gold when they part;
They wish me a long life for my good heart.

They say that they take me as an eternal friend
And otherwise they'll come to no good end.
I say that I'm just doing what I can
And I'll not ask favor from any man.

With sudden gales, the sun goes past its best;
With time and tide, the sun runs to the west.
The prime of life will by no means return;
The flight of time is my foremost concern.

Today we seek great pleasure in the hall;
Soon we'll be like the leaves that shrink and fall.
Whoever in the world will never die?
Why should I worry? Why should I?



置酒高殿上,
亲交从我游。
中厨办丰膳,
烹羊宰肥牛。

秦筝何慷慨,
齐瑟和且柔。
阳阿奏奇舞,
京洛出名讴。

乐饮过三爵,
缓带倾庶羞。
主称千金寿,
宾奉万年酬。

久要不可忘,
薄终义所尤。
谦谦君子德,
磬折欲何求?

惊风飘白日,
光景驰西流。
盛时不再来,
百年忽我遒。

生存华屋处,
零落归山丘。
先民谁不死,
知命复何忧!

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