Du Mu: Early Migrating Geese

Early Migrating Wild Geese

早 雁
金 河 秋 半 虏 弦 开
云 外 惊 飞 四 散 哀。
仙 掌 月 明 孤 影 过
长 门 灯 暗 数 声 来。
须 知 胡 骑 纷 纷 在
岂 逐 春 风 一 一 回。
莫 厌 萧 湘 少 人 外
水 多 菰 米 岸 莓 苔。
Zao Yan

Jin he qiu ban lu xian kai
Yun wai jing fei si san ai.
Xian zhang yue ming gu ying guo
Chang men deng an shu sheng lai.

Xu zhi hu qi fen fen zai
Qi zhu chun feng yi yi hui.
Mo yan xiao xiang shao ren chu
Shui duo gu mi an mei tai.

Early Migrating Wild Geese

By mid-autumn, Jin River captured by those with expert bows and arrows
Clouds of startled birds fly and scatter to the four directions.
Xianzheng moonlight, they and the people come here for safety and solitude
Chang’an palace lanterns dark, sad bird sounds arrive.

Must realize the nomads ride in large numbers
The geese pursue the spring winds, one by one they return here.
Be satisfied that a few survive to see the deep and clear Xiang River
Many rivers have wild rice stalks and riverside berries to sustain the refugees, both birds and people.

 

Notes:

Jin River: River that runs through the Sichuan Province city of Chengdu.

Chang’an: Ancient name for the capital city that is now known as Xi’an.

Xiang River: Principal tributary of the Changjiang (Yanzi River) that flows into Dongting Lake.

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