Bai Juyi: Mandarin Melonberry Branch Dancers

Mandarin Melonberry Branch Dancers

柘 枝 妓
平 铺 一 合 锦 筵 开
连 击 三 声 画 豉 催。
红 蜡 烛 移 桃 叶 起
紫 罗 衫 动 柘 枝 来。
带 垂 钿 胯 花 腰 重
帽 转 金 铃 雪 面 回。
看 即 曲 终 留 不 住
云 飘 雨 送 向 阳 台。
Zhe Zhi Ji

Ping pu yi he jin yan kai
Lian ji san sheng hua chi cui.
Hong la zhu yi tao ye qi
Zi luo shan dong zhe zhi lai.

Dai chui dian kua hua yao chong
Mao zhuan jin ling xue mian hui.
Kan ji qu zhong liu bu zhu
Yun piao yu song xiang yang tai.

 

Mandarin Melonberry Branch Dancers

One opened brocade and bamboo mat, spread out level
Repeatedly several drum pounding sounds to hasten the opening act.
Red wax candles appear, then the peach tree leaves come to life
Unlined purple blouses arrive and display the Mandarin melonberry-branch dances.

Blossom-pattern designs hung down from their waists sway to and fro
Hats rotated to ring the golden bells, snow white faces revealed.
While watching entranced, suddenly the music stops
Clouds part, rain moves away across the sunny terraces.

 

Notes:

Peach tree leaves: The dancing ladies.

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