Pi Rixiu Poem: The Great Canal – 皮日休《汴河怀古(其二)》

汴河[1]怀古(其二)

皮日休

尽道隋亡为此河,

至今千里赖通波。

若无水殿龙舟事[2]

共禹论功[3]不较多。

注释:

[1] 汴河:唐人习惯上用汴河指隋炀帝所开的通济渠的东段,也就是运河从板渚(今河南荥阳北)到盱眙县进入淮河的一段。当时,炀帝从洛阳西苑引谷、洛二水入黄河,又经黄河入汴水,再沿着春秋时吴王夫差所开的运河故道引汴水入泗水,最后到达淮水。

[2] 水殿龙舟事:大运河竣工后,隋炀帝率众二十万出游江都,造了一艘高迭四层的“龙舟”,还有九艘高三层被称为“浮景”的“水殿”。据说当时要百姓捐出全部香油,使龙舟水殿能从陆地进入水中,劳民伤财,极尽奢侈,最终民怨载道,这成为隋末之乱的直接导火索。

[3] 共禹论功:指大禹治水的功绩。

The Great Canal (Ⅱ)

Pi Rixiu

The Great Canal was blamed for the Sui Empire’s fall,

But on its waves the goods and food are brought to all.

Could the flood-fighting emperor do anything more

Than the Sui dragon-boats of three stories or four?

Emperor Yang of the Sui Dynasty (569—618) built the Great Canal and dragon-boats for pleasure-makiag, but it would facilitate the transportation and communication between North and South, and the poet praises him as high as the flood-fighting Emperor Yu of the Xia Dyansty (ca.2000 BC)

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