Su Dongpo: Xiuzhou Monk Ben Ying in His Room of Cal Reflectio

Xiuzhou Monk Ben Ying in His Room of Calm Reflection

秀 州 僧 本 莹 静 照 堂
鸟 囚 不 忘 飞
马 系 常 念 驰。
静 中 不 自 胜
不 若 听 所 之。
君 看 厌 事 人
无 事 乃 更 悲。
贫 贱 苦 形 劳
富 贵 嗟 神 疲。
作 堂 名 静 照
此 语 子 为 谁。
江 湖 隐 沦 士
岂 无 适 时 资。
老 死 不 自 惜
扁 舟 自 娱 嬉。
从 之 恐 莫 见
况 肯 从 我 为。
Xiu Zhou Seng Ben Ying Jing Zhao Tang

Niao qiu bu wang fei
Ma xi chang nian chi.
Jing zhong bu zi sheng
Bu ruo ting suo zhi.

Jun kan yan shi ren
Wu shi nai geng bei.
Pin jian ku xing lao
Fu gui jie shen pi.

Zuo tang ming jing zhao
Ci yu zi wei shei.
Jiang hu yin lun shi
Qi wu shi shi zi.

Lao si bu zi xi
Pian zhou zi yu xi.
Cong zhi kong mo jian
Kuang ken cong wo wei.


Xiuzhou Monk Ben Ying in His Room of Calm Reflection

Caged birds do not forget how to fly
Tethered horses often think of galloping away fast.
If you cannot succeed in finding your center of calm
Then allow yourself to go to another place.

You see people world-exhausted, even when relieved of responsibilities,
they experience sorrows
The poor and humble live with hardships and long labors.
The wealthy and high ranking lament their weak spirit and energy
Wonder who gave the title of “Calm Reflection” to your room.

Across rivers and lakes, those in seclusion and the scholars
Are not without money and comforts
Even when aged and dying, they believe this life choice not a waste or an object of pity.
They travel on river flatboats, entertained and enjoying themselves
I am afraid that I will be unable to follow them
Yet they would not agree to my situation and choice either.



Xiuzhou: A prefecture inside the province of Zhejiang.


Jingzhao:  Literally translation is: The Calm and Illuminated.

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