Li Bai: Songs of Chang Gan

Songs of Chang Gan

长 干 行
妾 发 初 覆 额
折 花 门 前 别。
朗 骑 竹 马 来
绕 床 弄 青 梅。
同 居 长 干 里
两 小 无 嫌 猜。
十 四 为 君 妇
羞 颜 未 尝 开。
低 斗 向 暗 壁
千 唤 不 一 回。
十 五 始 展 眉
愿 同 尘 与 灰。
常 存 抱 柱 信
岂 上 望 夫 台?
十 六 君 远 行
瞿 塘 滟 预 堆。
五 月 不 可 触
猿 声 天 上 哀。
门 前 迟 行 迹
一 一 生 绿 苔。
苔 深 不 能 扫
落 叶 秋 风 早。
八 月 蝴 蝶 来
双 飞 西 园 草。
感 此 伤 妾 心
坐 愁 红 颜 老。
早 晚 下 三 巴
预 将 书 报 家。
相 迎 不 道 远
直 至 长 风 沙。

 

Chang Gan Xing

Qie fa chu fu e
She hua men qian bie.
Lang qi zhu ma lai
Rao chuang nong qing mei.

Tong ju chang gan li
Liang xiao wu xian cai.
Shi si wei jun fu
Xiu yan wei chang kai.

Di dou xiang an bi
Qian huan bu yi hui.
Shi wu shi zhan mei
Yuan tong chen yu hui.

Chang cun bao zhu xin
Qi shang wang fu tai?
Shi liu jun yuan xing
Qu tang yan yu dui.

Wu yue bu ke chu
Yuan sheng tian shang ai.
Men qian chi xing ji
Yi yi sheng lu tai.

Tai shen bu neng sao
Luo ye qiu feng zao.
Ba yue hu die lai
Shuang fei xi yuan cao.

Gan ci shang qie xin
Zuo chou hong yan lao.
Zao wan xia san ba
Yu jiang shu bao jia.
Xiang ying bu dao yuan
Zhi zhi chang feng sha.

 

Songs of Chang Gan

Young girl with simple short bangs
Plays make-believe stories with flowered branches.
Small boy on bamboo horses is a cavalryman
Plays with plum trees around the circular well.

Girl and boy lived along this same street
From early on they trusted each other.
Married at the age of fourteen
Now bashful, not yet open and comfortable again.

Head turned away, hiding in the corners
Thousand times others beckon her, still does not come out.
At age fifteen began to exhibit made-up eyebrows
Hope to share this life until their ashes turn to dust.

Determined to hold onto each other through life’s big storms
When separated, she can wait for him until turned to stone.
Sixteen years old, he has to work and travel outside
Has to journey through dangerous Changjiang rapids at Qutang.

In May the waters flow especially high
And the monkeys wail their grief to Heaven and the narrow sky above.
She waited in front of the door looking for signs of his return
One by one mosses emerged on the pathway to their home.

Moss so deep unable to sweep
Fallen leaves on the early autumn wind.
August, rust-colored butterflies soar
Both fly around the grassy western garden.

Wounded hearts as they fly in pairs
Sit with anxiety, face looking old and red.
When can you return from your travels
And write to me here at home.
Let’s meet each other on the road
Chang Fengsha is not too far away.

 

Notes:

Qutang Rapids: A gorge on the Changjiang (Yangtze River), about five miles long inside Sichuan Province.

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