Wang Wei: With Spring Over, Celebrating Landlord Sui’s Medicinal Plant Garden

With Spring Over, Celebrating Landlord Sui’s
Medicinal Plant Garden

春 过 贺 遂 员 外 药 园
前 年 槿 篱 故
今 作 药 栏 成。
香 草 为 君 子
名 花 是 长 卿。
水 穿 盘 石 透
藤 系 古 松 生。
昼 畏 开 厨 走
来 蒙 倒 屣 迎。
蔗 浆 菰 米 饭
蒟 酱 露 葵 羹。
颇 识 灌 园 意
於 陵 不 自 轻。

 

Chun Guo He Sui Yuan Wai Yao Yuan

Qian nian jin li gu
Jin zuo yao lan cheng.
Xiang cao wei jun zi
Ming hua shi chang qing.

Shui chuan pan shi tou
Teng ji gu song sheng.
Zhou wei kai chu zou
Lai meng dao xi ying.

Zhe jiang gu mi fan
Ju jiang lu kui geng.
Po shi guan yuan yi
Wu ling bu zi qing.

 

With Spring Over, Celebrating Landlord Sui’s Medicinal Plant Garden

Year before last the hibiscus fence died
This year you transformed it into a fence of medicinal plants.
The fragrant grasses act like men of noble character
Famous flowers are competent senior officials.

The water passes completely though huge rocks
Vines grow and fasten themselves to ancient pine trees.
Daytime visitors admire your impromptu kitchen operation
You trip and fall over your shoes in haste to extend hospitality.

You serve up wild rice with mushrooms in a sugarcane syrup
And a thick soup of betel peppers and scented beverages.
Very aware now of an irrigated garden’s meaning:
You are like the tiger of a hill, with much strength.

 

Notes:

Irrigated garden’s meaning: A metaphor where in order to protect oneself from the evils of the world, and to preserve one’s purity and integrity, one must have this kind of garden.

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