Li Qingzhao: Cool Incense Ashes

Cool Incense Ashes

凤 凰 台 上 忆 吹 箫
香 冷 金 猊
被 翻 红 浪
起 来 人 未 梳 头。
任 宝 奁 闲 掩
日 上 帘 钩。
生 怕 闲 愁 暗 恨
多 少 事,欲 说 不 休?
今 年 瘦,非 干 病 酒
不 是 悲 秋。休 休!
这 回 去 也
千 万 遍 “ 阳 关”
也 则 难 留。
念 武 陵 人 远
烟 锁 秦 楼。
记 取 楼 前 绿 水
应 念 我,终 日 凝 眸。
凝 眸 外, 从 今 又 添
一 段 新 愁。


Feng Huang Tai Shang Yi Chui Xiao

Xiang leng jin ni
Bei fan hong lang
Qi lai ren fu shu tou.
Ren bao lian xian yan
Ri shang lian gou.

Sheng pa xian chou an hen
Duo shao shi, yu shui bu xiu?
Jin nian shou, fei gan bing jiu
Bu shi bei qiu. Xiu xiu!
Zhe hui qu ye

Qian wan bian “Yang guan”
Ye ze nan liu.
Nian wu ling ren yuan
Yan suo qin lou.
Ji qu lou qian lu shui
Ying nian wo, zhong ri ning mou.
Ning mou wai, cong jin you tian
Yi duan xin chou.


Cool Incense Ashes Inside
(Recall a Flute Playing Upon the Yellow Phoenix Tower)

Cool incense ashes inside a golden griffin holder
Red quilt crumpled and wrinkled up
Not yet combed my hair, nor have I arisen for any guest arrival.
Treasured toiletry cases shut, idle and hidden
Sunlight above the curtain hooks.

Hate the emerging anxieties and the idleness
How many troubles, cannot persuade myself to stop writing about them?
This year losing weight, cannot blame the wine.
It is not the season of autumn Stop! Stop!
This is the time when you left.

I have played “Yang Guan” millions of times and places.
Still difficult to ask him to stay
You think of the recluses in Wuling
Mists lock up the Qin Pagoda
Bear in mind when at the green waters around the towers and pagodas
Think of me, everyday look with fixed eyes
Everyday I stare, after today one more new worry arrives.



Yang Guan: A mountain pass in the northwest Gansu Province. Fortified by Emperor Wu around 120 BC during the Western Han dynasty. For centuries a garrison and outpost on the western frontier. Made famous by a Wang Wei poem expressing sad departures. This poem inspired one of best known Chinese musical pieces called “Three Variations of Yang Guan.” The song is often accompanied by the ancient stringed instrument called the guqin.

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