Li He Poem: The Bronze Statue Leaving Han Palace – 李贺《金铜仙人辞汉歌并序》











[1] 金铜仙人:后文所说的捧露仙人。《三辅黄图》中曾记载汉武帝时建造了神明台,上面有承露盘,有铜仙人“舒掌捧铜盘玉杯”来接“云表之露”,然后用露水调匀玉屑,汉武帝认为吃下这露水所和的玉屑就可以成仙。

[2] 青龙元年:青龙元年与历史不符,据《三国志·魏书·明帝纪》记载,在青龙五年三月改元为景初元年,迁徙长安铜人承露盘即在这一年。

[3] 潸然泪下:《汉晋春秋》记载魏明帝迁徙铜人时,拆承露盘的声音响彻数十里,金铜仙人也落下了眼泪,所以被留在了霸城。其实是因为铜人太重,难以运到洛阳。

[4] 茂陵:汉武帝刘彻的陵墓,在今陕西省兴平县东北。

[5] 秋风客:这里是指悲秋的人。汉武帝曾写有《秋风辞》,其中有名句“欢乐极兮哀情多,少壮几时兮奈老何”。

[6] 土花:这里是指青苔。

[7] 东关:从长安到魏的国都洛阳要经过长安东门,所以称为东关。

[8] 汉月:这里指承露盘。李白曾有一首诗《古朗月行》中说“小时不识月。呼作白玉盘”,将月亮比作白玉盘,这里则用月比喻玉盘。

[9] 渭城:秦国国都咸阳,汉代改为渭城县,此代指长安。

The Bronze Statue Leaving Han Palace

Li He

The emperor was gone just like his autumn breeze;

At night his steed would neigh, at dawn no trace was seen.

By painted rails fragrance still wafts over laurel trees,

His thirty palaces overgrown with mosses green.

Wei eunuch drove a dray to go a long, long way;

In Eastern Pass the sour wind stung the bronze’s eyes.

Only the moon of yore saw him leave palace door;

Thinking of his dear lord, he shed tears and heaved sighs.

Withered orchid would say, “Farewell and go your way.”

Heaven would have grown old if it could feel as man.

He went with moon-shaped plate beneath the moon desolate;

The waves unheard, far from the town the horses ran.

The Martial Emperor of the Han Dynasty, author of Ode to the Autumn Breeze. built a bronze statue with a moon-shaped plate, but the Bright Emperor of the Wei Dynasty ordered his eunuch to move it out of the palace, and the bronze was said to have shed tears. This poem shows the poet, like the bronze, is unwilling to leave the capital after his failure in the civil service examinations.


The Song of the Golden Bronze Immortal Resigning from Han is a poem written by Li He, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, on his way to Luoyang from Chang’an, the capital, due to illness. The poet uses the historical incident of the golden and bronze immortal’s resignation from Han to express his feelings of rise and fall, the pain of his family and country, and the sorrow of his life. The poem is peculiarly conceived, yet deeply touching; the images are vivid, yet varied; the words are strange and crude, yet appropriate and dense. This poem is full of romanticism and is one of Li He’s representative works. In particular, the line “If there is love in heaven, there is also love in heaven” has become a famous line that has been recited for thousands of years, and was once quoted by Mao Zedong in his poem “Seven Rhythms – The Occupation of Nanjing by the People’s Liberation Army”.

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