Li Qingzhao: Tears Moisten Silk Clothes

Tears Moisten Silk Clothes

蝶 恋 花
泪 湿 岁 衣 脂 粉 满
四 叠 阳 关
唱 到 千 千 遍。
人 道 山 长 山 又 断
萧 萧 微 雨 闻 孤 馆。
惜 别 伤 离 方 寸 乱
忘 了 临 行
酒 盏 深 和 浅。
好 把 音 书 凭 过 雁
东 来 不 似 蓬 来 远。
Die Lian Hua

Lei shi sui yi zhi fen man
Si die yang guan
Chang dao qian qian bian.
Ren dao shan chang shan you duan
Xiao xiao wei yu wen gu guan.

Xi bie shang li fang cun luan
Wang le lin xing
Jiu zhan shen he qian.
Hao ba yin shu ping guo yan
Dong jia bu si peng jia yuan.

Tears Moisten Silk Clothes
(Butterflies Love Flowers)

Tears moisten silk clothes, powder and rouge fall
Repeat over and over the four movements of Yang Guan
Singing this song thousands of times everywhere I go.
Well-traveled road through mountain after mountain range
Sounds of soughing wind, light on in a solitary traveler’s inn.

Our reluctance to part, sadness and turmoil remains in my heart-mind
Forget about having to travel
Small wine cups were filled and emptied many times.
It’s good we can write to each other like migrating geese
Donglai not as distant as Penglai.



Yang Guan: A mountain pass in the northwest and 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.

Penglai: Mythological mountain island in the ocean east of Shandong Province. Home to Chinese immortals.

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