Han Yu: Send Off Dong Shaonan

Send Off Dong Shaonan

送 董 邵 南 序
[燕,赵 古 称 多 感
慨 悲 歌 之 士。
董 生 举 进 士
连 不 得 志 于 有 司
怀 抱 利 器
郁 郁 适 兹 土。
吾 知 其 必 有 合 也。
董 生 勉 乎 哉!
夫 以 子 之 不 遇 时
苟 慕 义 强 仁
者 皆 爱 惜 焉
眼 燕,赵 之 士 出
乎 其 性 者 哉!]
Song Dong Shao Nan Xu

[Yan zhao gu chen duo gan
Kai bei ge zhi shi.
Dong sheng ju jin shi
Lian bu de zhi yu you si

Huai bao li qi
Yu yu shi zi tu.
Wu zhi qi bi you he ye.
Dong sheng mian hu zai!

Fu yi zi zhi bu yu shi
Gou mu yi qiang ren
Zhe jie ai xi yan
Yan yan, zhao zhi shi chu
Hu qi xing zhe zai!]

+++

然 吾 尝 闻
风 俗 与 化 移 易
吾 恶 知 其 今 不
异 于 古 所 云 邪?
聊 以 吾 子 之
行 卜 之 也。
董 生 勉 乎 哉!
吾 因 子 有 所 感 矣。
为 我 吊 望
诸 君 之 墓
而 观 于 其 市
复 有 昔 时
屠 狗 者 乎?
为 我 谢 曰:
明 天 子 在 上
可 以 出 而 仕 矣。

Ran wu chang wen
Feng su yu hua yi yi
Wu wu zhi qi jin bu
Yi yu gu suo yun xie?

Liao yi wu zi zhi
Xing bu zhi ye.
Dong sheng mian hu zai!
Wu yin zi you suo gan yi.

Wei wo diao wang
Zhu jun zhi mu
Er guan yu qi shi
Fu you xi shi
Tu gou zhe hu?

Wei wo xie yue:
Ming tian zi zai shang
Ke yi chu er shi yi.

 

Send Off Dong Shaonan

[Ancient kingdoms of Yan and Zhao evoke many feelings
Deeply sorrowful songs for the scholars.
Mr. Dong’s life and work of a high-level exam candidate
No one has yet to write him a letter of recommendation.

This scholar has highly developed literary skills
Like holdings in one’s arms sharpened weapons, he has to flee to these remote kingdoms.
I know there must be a place that matches your skill set
Alas! Mr. Dong do not go away and hide in seclusion.

Like the sages Laozi and Kongzi, you have to meet your destiny and time
You have been admired for your benevolent righteousness.
All people cherish these traits
Go ahead and go to Yan and Zhao.]

+++

From my experience I heard that some customs are easily changed
I am already aware that today is not the same as in ancient times.
The cultures have gone their separate ways?
I can somewhat give you the needed ability to foretell and follow the sages.

Alas! Mr. Dong you may encounter some people and things to avoid
I can sympathize with your feelings
Makes me lift up your future opportunities
Go and visit their ancient gravesites.

And then go to their marketplaces to see if the people are content like in the old days
Are there good people to help make the region prosperous?
Makes me tell you:
With good people in the market, good leaders are bound to follow
If they have these kinds of people, accept their offer of a job.

 

Notes:

Yan and Zhao: Located in northern and southern Hebei Province.

Laozi (Lao Tzu): (6th-4th centuries BC) Founder of Daoism and author of the Dao De Jing.

Kongzi (Confucius): (551-479 BC) Founder of Confucianism.

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