Du Fu: Beautiful Ladies

Beautiful Ladies

佳 人
绝 代 有 佳 人
幽 居 在 空 谷。
自 云 良 家 子
零 落 似 草 木。
关 中 昔 丧 乱
兄 弟 遭 杀 戮。
官 高 何 足 论
不 得 收 骨 肉。
世 情 恶 衰 歇
万 事 随 转 烛。
夫 婿 轻 薄 儿
新 人 美 如 玉。
合 昏 尚 知 时
鸳 鸯 不 独 宿。
但 见 新 人 笑
哪 闻 旧 人 哭。
在 山 泉 水 清
出 山 泉 水 浊。
侍 婢 卖 珠 回
牵 萝 补 茅 屋。
摘 花 不 插 法
采 柏 动 盈 掬。
天 寒 翠 袖 薄
日 暮 倚 修 竹。
Jia Ren

Jue dai you jia ren
You ju zai kong gu.
Zi yun liang jia zi
Ling luo si cao mu.

Guan zhong xi sang luan
Xiong di zao sha lu.
Guan gao he zu lun
Bu dei shou gu rou.

Shi qing wu shuai xie
Wan shi sui zhuan zhu.
Fu xu qing bo er
Xin ren mei ru yu.

He hun shang zhi shi
Yuan ang bu du su.
Dan jian xin ren xiao
Na wen jiu ren ku.

Zai shan quan shui qing
Chu shan quan shui zhuo.
Shi bi mai zhu hui
Qian luo bu mao wu.

Zhai hua bu cha fa
Cai bai dong ying ju.
Tian han cui xiu bo
Ri mu yi xiu zhu.

 

Beautiful Ladies

Unique among peers, this prettiest of ladies
Lives in a secluded dwelling within empty valleys.
Tells me she grew up in a good family
She is now like withered plants and fallen trees.

Central Shaanxi had disturbances and bloodshed
Her younger brothers all killed in battle.
Even high officials were not given proper Confucian burial rites
Cannot be buried in one’s hometown.

Society and the culture treated her with dislike and contempt
Ten thousand human affairs snuffed out like a candle.
Her husband frivolous and without compassion
Her brother gone, quickly she followed another piece of jade.

Hehun flowers value and know the seasons and time of day
Mandarins and drakes never sleep without each other.
Most people only see the smiling new lady
Who can hear the crying of the old wife.

Spring waters inside the mountains are clean and pure
Spring waters leaving the mountains turn murky and opaque.
Her servant girl returned after selling some of her pearl jewelry
Used to fix up and repair their thatched house.

Picked flowers not inserted into her hair
Gathered with both hands, cedar branches put to good use.
Skies cold, her sleeves thin and green
Today’s sunset, in a meditative state, she leans against xiu bamboo.

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