Cao Cao: A Short-Song Ballad ~ 曹操 《短歌行》 with English Translations

小编导读:这首《短歌行》的主题非常明确,就是作者希望有大量人才来为自己所用。曹操在其政治活动中,为了扩大他在庶族地主中的统治基础,打击反动的世袭豪强势力,曾大力强调“唯才是举”,为此而先后发布了“求贤令”、“举士令”、“求逸才令”等;而《短歌行》实际上就是一曲“求贤歌”、又正因为运用了诗歌的形式,含有丰富的抒情成分,所以就能起到独特的感染作用,有力地宣传了他所坚持的主张,配合了他所颁发的政令。

曹操 《短歌行》

对酒当歌,人生几何?
譬如朝露,去日苦多。
慨当以慷,忧思难忘。
何以解忧,唯有杜康。
青青子衿,悠悠我心。
但为君故,沉吟至今。
呦呦鹿鸣,食野之苹。
我有嘉宾,鼓瑟吹笙。
明明如月,何时可掇。
忧从中来,不可断绝。
越陌度阡,枉用相存。
契阔谈宴,心念旧恩。
月明星稀,乌鹊南飞。
绕树三匝,何枝可依?
山不厌高,海不厌深。
周公吐哺,天下归心。

A Short-Song Ballad
Cao Cao

The wine, the song, life goes on —
But for how long?
It evaporates, to our dismay,
Like the morning dew, day after day.
Ambition and aspiration sustain me,
But a secret thread of grief worries me.
How can I brush it aside
But by drowning it in wine?
Scholars, scholars, where are you?
Years I have chanted the song of yearning —
But would you ever come over to me?
Deer are calling from the field, grazing
On the tender marsilea.
Let my house be graced with a learned visitor,
I will have music played in his honour.
But he is as bright as the moon,
And how could I make a moon stay?
Here my sorrows surface and swell,
And refuse to go away.
Talented friends, whom I love, I treasure,
For a rendezvous no journey is too long!
Would you mind coming, to our meeting,
To our feast, back to old-days’ feeling?
The stars so dim, the moon so bright,
Southbound birds are flying, circling
Round and round over the tree —
On which bough are you alight?
The water can never be too deep,
And the mountain too high.
When an open-minded king calls for talent,
It is him the would must stand by.

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