Li Yu: Elegy For Zhong Xuan

Elegy For Zhong Xuan

悼 仲 宣 铭
呜 呼! 庭 兰 伊 何?
方 春 而 零;
掌 珠 伊 何?
在 玩 而 倾。
珠 沉 媚 泽
兰 陨 芳 馨。
人 犹 沮 恨
我 若 为 情。
萧 萧 极 野
寂 寂 重 扃。
与 子 长 决
挥 涕 吞 声。
意 嘻 哀 哉!
Dao Zhong Xuan Ming

Wu hu! Ting lan yi he?
Fang chun er ling;
Zhang zhu yi he?
Zai wan er qing.

Zhu chen mei zhe
Lan yun fang xin.
Ren you ju hen
Wo ruo wei qing.

Xiao xiao ji ye
Ji ji chong jiong.
Yu zi chang jue
Hui ti tun sheng.
Yi xi ai zai!


Elegy For Zhong Xuan

Alas! What now with an orchid pavilion?
Spring started, now has withered and fallen;
What happened to the pearl in my hand?
In time it’s luster can fade.

Attractive pearl sunk and buried
Fragrant orchid no longer strong or pervasive.
People like this depressed and resentful
I have become these emotions.

Sound of rustling winds in a remote open country
Very quiet and still, again the bolted gate closed.
Long farewell to my treasured youth
Deep swallow sounds, and wipe my tears.
Ah, why so much grief and sorrow!



This poem written in remembrance of his four year old son’s death. Along with the passing of Li’s wife, his orchid and pearl are gone. The bolted gate is at the family cemetery.

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