Han Yu: Evening of the Fifteenth Day, Eighth Lunar Month, Send This to Army Advisor Zhang

Evening of the Fifteenth Day, Eighth Lunar Month, Send This to Army Advisor Zhang

八 月 十 五 夜 赠 张 功 曹
纤 云 四 卷 天 无 河
清 风 吹 空 月 舒 波。
沙 平 水 息 声 影 绝
一 杯 相 属 君 当 歌。
君 歌 声 酸 辞 且 苦
不 能 听 终 泪 入 雨。
洞 庭 连 天 九 疑 高
蛟 龙 出 没 猩 鼯 号。
十 生 九 死 到 官 所
幽 居 默 默 如 藏 逃。
下 床 畏 蛇 食 畏 药
海 气 湿 蛩 熏 腥 臊。
昨 者 州 前 捶 大 豉
嗣 皇 继 圣 登 夔 皋。
赦 书 一 日 行 万 里
罪 从 大 辟 皆 除 死。
迁 者 追 回 流 者 还
涤 瑕 荡 垢 清 朝 班。
州 家 申 名 使 家 抑
坎 轲 只 得 移 荆 蛮。
判 司 卑 官 不 堪 说
未 兔 捶 楚 尘 埃 间。
同 时 辈 流 多 上 道
天 路 幽 险 难 追 攀。
君 歌 且 休 听 我 歌
我 歌 今 与 君 殊 科。
一 年 明 月 今 宵 多
人 生 由 命 非 由 他。
有 酒 不 饮 奈 明 何。


Ba Yue Shi Wu Ye Zeng Zhang Gong Cao

Qian yun si juan tian wu he
Qing feng chui kong yue shu bo.
Sha ping shui xi sheng ying jue
Yi bei xiang zhu jun dang ge.

Jun ge sheng suan ci qie ku
Bu neng ting zhong lei ru yu.
Dong ting lian tian jiu yi gao
Jiao long chu mei xing wu hao.

Shi sheng jiu si dao guan suo
You ju mo mo ru cang tao.
Xia chuang wei she shi wei yao
Hai qi shi qiong xun xing sao.

Zuo zhe zhou qian chui da chi
Si huang ji sheng deng kui gao.
She shu yi ri xing wan li
Zui cong da pi jie chu si.

Qian zhe zhui hui liu she huan
Di xia dang gou qing zhao ban.
Zhou jia shen ming shi jia yi
Kan ke zhi de yi jing man.

Pan si bei guan bu kan shui
Wei tu chui chu chen ai jian.
Tong shi bei liu duo shang dao
Tian lu you xian nan zhui pan.

Jun ge qie xiu ting wo ge
Wo ge jin yu jun shu ke.
Yi nian ming yue jin xiao duo
Ren shen you ming bei you ta.
You jiu bu yin nai ming he.

Evening of the Fifteenth Day, Eighth Lunar Month, Send This to Army Advisor Zhang

Fine and thin clouds scrolled in all four directions, sky without the Milky Way
Clear winds blow, moonlight relaxes on the waves.
Level sand, river water quietly exhales sounds and shadows
One more cup for each of us, you should concentrate on your singing.

Your songs sound so sour and full of regret and suffering
Cannot hear you finish, tears fall like rain.
Mt. Yi so tall, with Dongting Lake join the sky
Flood dragon comes out to soak the noisy orangutans and flying squirrels.

After ten lives and nine deaths we arrive in the official places
Deep and secluded dwelling, silent like escaped refugees.
Under our beds fear snakes, perhaps our food is being poisoned as well
Ocean air moist, the stench of silverfish and other raw fish.

A few days ago, in front of government buildings drums sound out
New emperor ascends the throne, the virtuous and competent await appointment.
From three thousand miles away, today documents that absolve
Except for the murderers, guilt and shame with execution are eliminated.

All of those in exile come back by imperial edict
Dawn of a new day, those previously soiled may have a chance for a clean slate.
Zhang’s name not given its due from those at prefecture headquarters
He alone has to go to Jing, a place of country bumpkins.

Assigned a position of low rank, a test of one’s endurance
Maybe susceptible to petty punishments for no reasons.
At the same time, all our peers are on the highways to the capital
Off a heavenly road, this new place very secluded and dangerous.

Stop your singing now, listen to my songs
My songs now can encourage your rise in rank.
Tonight has the brightest moonlight for one year
Not our wrongdoing, it is our human experience of destiny.
We have wine, let us drink for today.



Mt. Yi:  Located in Shandong Province

Dongting Lake: In the province of Hunan, a shallow lake that services as a flood basin for the Changjiang.

Flood Dragon:  Jiaolong is mythological beast who can take one of many different forms.

Jing: Probably one of the nine ancient provinces during the Western  Han
(206 BC-9 AD).

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