Zhang Ruoxu, The Moon over the River on a Spring Night – 张若虚《春江花月夜》

春江花月夜

张若虚

春江潮水连海平,海上明月共潮[1]生。

滟滟[2]随波千万里,何处春江无月明。

江流宛转绕芳甸[3],月照花林皆似霰[4]

空里流霜[5]不觉飞,汀[6]上白沙看不见。

江天一色无纤尘,皎皎空中孤月轮。

江畔何人初见月?江月何年初照人?

人生代代无穷已,江月年年望相似。

不知江月待何人,但见长江送流水。

白云一片去悠悠,青枫[7]浦上不胜愁。

谁家今夜扁舟子[8]?何处相思明月楼?

可怜楼上月徘徊,应照离人妆镜台。

玉户[9]帘中卷不去,捣衣砧[10]上拂还来。

此时相望不相闻,愿逐月华流照君。

鸿雁长飞光不度[11],鱼龙潜跃水成文[12]

昨夜闲潭梦落花,可怜春半不还家。

江水流春去欲尽,江潭落月复西斜。

斜月沉沉藏海雾,碣石潇湘[13]无限路。

不知乘月几人归,落月摇情满江树。

注释:

[1] 共:一起。

[2] 滟滟:水波闪动的样子。

[3] 甸:郊野。

[4] 霰(xiàn):雪珠。

[5] 流霜:形容月光洁白如霜。古人以为霜和雪一样,都是飞动的。

[6] 汀:水中小洲。

[7] 青枫:暗用《楚辞·招魂》中“湛湛江水兮上有枫,目极千里兮伤春心”的意思。

[8] 扁舟子:指飘荡在外的游子。

[9] 玉户:装饰华丽的窗户,指闺中。

[10] 捣衣砧:捶衣服用的石板。

[11] 度:飞越。

[12] 文:“纹”,波纹。

[13] 碣石潇湘:泛指天南地北。碣石,山名,原为河北省乐亭县西南的大碣石山,现已沉落海中。潇湘,潇湘二水在湖南零陵县合流后称潇湘。

The Moon over the River on a Spring Night

Zhang Ruoxu

In spring the river rises as high as the sea,

And with the river’s tide uprises the moon bright.

She follows the rolling waves for ten thousand li;

Where’er the river flows, there overflows her light.

The river winds around the fragrant islet where

The blooming flowers in her light all look like snow.

You cannot tell her beams from hoar frost in the air,

Nor from white sand upon Farewell Beach below.

No dust has stained the water blending with the skies;

A lonely wheel-like moon shines brilliant far and wide.

Who by the riverside did first see the moon rise?

When did the moon first see a man by riverside?

Many generations have come and passed away;

From year to year the moons look alike, old and new.

We do not know tonight for whom she sheds her ray,

But hear the river say to its water adieu.

Away, away is sailing a single cloud white;

On Farewell Beach are pining away maples green.

Where is the wanderer sailing his boat tonight?

Who, pining away, on the moonlit rails would lean?

Alas! The moon is lingering over the tower;

It should have seen her dressing table all alone.

She may roll curtains up, but light is in her bower;

She may wash, but moonbeams still remain on the stone.

She sees the moon, but her husband is out of sight;

She would follow the moonbeams to shine on his face.

But message-bearing swans can’t fly out of moonlight,

Nor letter-sending fish can leap out of their place.

He dreamed of flowers falling o’er the pool last night;

Alas! Spring has half gone, but he can’t homeward go.

The water bearing spring will run away in flight;

The moon over the pool will sink low.

In the mist on the sea the slanting moon will hide;

It’s a long way from northern hills to southern streams.

How many can go home by moonlight on the tide?

The setting moon sheds o’er riverside trees but dreams.

This poem describes five of the most beautiful things in nature: spring, river, flowers, moon, night. The poet writes about a beautiful woman among flowers under the moon on a spring night, thinking of her love sailing on the river. Thus the beauty of nature mingles with the love of man.

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