Zheng Gu Poem: To the Partridges – 郑谷《鹧鸪》












[1] 鹧鸪:产于我国南部,形似雌雉,体大如鸠。古人称它的鸣叫声为“钩辀格磔”,民间以为其叫声极像“行不得也哥哥”,所以古人常借其声以抒写逐客留人之情。

[2] 青草湖:据盛弘之《荆州记》记载,青草湖就是古巴丘湖,在洞庭湖东南,后来青草湖也就成为洞庭湖的通称。

[3] 黄陵庙:位于湘阴县北洞庭湖畔。传说帝舜南巡,死于苍梧,娥皇、女英二妃溺死于湘江,后人就在湘水岸边立祠堂以表纪念,这祠堂就是黄陵庙。

[4] 唱:这里是指唱《鹧鸪曲》。据《韵语阳秋》记载,《鹧鸪曲》是效仿鹧鸪声而成之曲,是晚唐新声。

To the Partridges

Zheng Gu

Over warm misty grassland wing to wing you fly.

As fair and good as pheasants in the mountain high.

When Grass-green Lake is darkened in rain, you pass by;

When flowers fall on the Imperial Tomb, you cry.

A roamer would wet his sleeves with tears on heating your song;

His wife’d sing after you with lowered eyebrows long.

You echo each other on Southern River wide;

The sun sets on the bamboo grove by the Tombside.

The partridge seems to cry in Chinese: “Don’t go, brother!” The Imperial Tomb refers to the tomb of Emperor Shun who died by the side of the Grass-green Lake and whose wife came to shed tears on the bamboos by the tombside till they were specked.


“To the Partridges” is a poem written by Zheng Gu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem depicts the appearance and sound of the partridge, expressing the wanderer’s misery and strong feelings of longing for home. The poet grasps the emotional connection between humans and partridges, and chants the partridge with emphasis on the rhyme, making humans and partridges become one.

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