Meng Haoran: Outside My Hometown on the Seventh Evening of the Seventh Month

Outside My Hometown on the Seventh Evening of the Seventh Month

他 郷 七 夕
他 郷 逢 七 夕
旅 馆 益 羈 愁。
不 见 穿 針 妇
空 櫰 故 國 楼。
绪 风 初 減 热
新 月 始 臨 秋。
谁 忍 窥 河 漢
迢 迢 问 斗 牛。
Ta Xiang Qi Xi

Ta xiang feng qi xi
Lu guan yi ji chou.
Bu jian chuan zhen fu
Kong huai gu guo lou.

Xu feng chu jian re
Xin yue shi lin qiu.
Shei ren kui he han
Tiao tiao wen dou niu.

 

Outside My Hometown : On the Seventh Evening of the Seventh Month (Double Seventh Festival)

Outside my hometown, now realize it is the seventh evening of the
seventh month
At a traveler’s inn, trying hard to restrain my melancholy.
Do not see my wife doing her evening sewing chores
The emptiness because of this country house.

Remaining breezes begin to diminish the heat
New moon begins the arrival of autumn.
How can I endure this sight of the two lover’s stars
The Big Dipper and the Ox so far away and remote.

 

Notes:

Double Seventh Festival: The Big Dipper and the Ox: the Qixi Festival, or the evening of the Sevens (seventh lunar  month, seventh day), also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day, when according to legend, a cowherd meets a beautiful girl (weaver girl) who is the seventh daughter of a goddess. Being born in Heaven, the girl comes down to earth to look for fun. She meets and then marries the cowherd without her mother’s knowledge. After having two children, the mother finds out about the couple. In anger she orders the girl back to Heaven, and then taking out her hairpin scratches a river in the sky (Milky Way) to separate the two lovers forever. But once a year, on this night, the magpies of the world take pity on the lovers and form a bridge of magpies so they can be together for one night.

 

Commentary:

I believe this is the only poem that mentions Meng’s wife.

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