Du Fu: River Village

 

Du Fu: River Village

江 村
(1)
清 江 一 曲 抱 村 流
长 夏 江 村 事 事 幽。
自 去 自 来 梁 上 燕
相 亲 相 近 水 中 鸥。
老 妻 画 纸 为 棋 局
稚 子 敲 针 作 钓 钩。
但 有 故 人 供 禄 米
微 躯 此 外 更 何 求?
(2)
舍 南 舍 北 皆 春 水
但 见 群 鸥 日 日 来。
花 径 不 曾 为 君 开
篷 门 今 始 为 君 开。
盘 飧 市 远 无 兼 味。
撙 酒 家 贫 只 旧 醅。
肯 与 邻 翁 相 对 饮
隔 篱 呼 取 尽 余 杯。
Jiang Cun

(1)

Qing jiang yi qu bao cun liu
Chang fu jiang cun shi shi you
Zi qu zi lai liang shang yan
Xiang qin xiang jin shui zhong ou.

Lao qi hua zhi wei qi ju
Zhi zi qiao zhen zuo diao gou.
Dan you gu ren gong lu mi
Wei qu ci wai geng he qiu?

(2)

She nan she bei jie chun shui
Dan jian qun ou ri ri lai
Hua jing bu ceng yuan ke sao
Peng men jin shi wei jun kai.

Pan sun shi yuan wu jian wei
Zun jiu jia pin zhi jiu pei
Ken yu lin weng xiang dui yin
Ge li hu qu jin yu bei.

River Village

(1)

Clear river flows around to embrace the village
Long summer, everything in the town is quiet and still
Swallows above the roof beams naturally come and go as they please
Water birds kiss and fondle each other near the river.

Old wife paints us a paper chessboard
Children fashion their own fishing hooks and line
Yet we have good friends give to us some of their official’s grain allotment
For this small and insignificant life, what more could I ask for?

(2)

Spring waters all around, to the south, to the north
Everyday can only see groups of arriving waterbirds
Flowered footpaths, because of no visitors, do not need to swept away
Only now my humble dwelling begins to receive some guests.

Markets too far away, dinner trays only have a couple of items
For a long time our house wine poor and unfiltered
Willing to invite the old man next door to join us in drinking
Shout across the fence for him to share our cups.

Commentary:

Du Fu and his family are now living in the city of Chengdu, Sichuan province.  At this time, Sichuan is very isolated and protected from the outside world and it’s affairs. This was a time of rest, peace and family time for Du Fu. His house near the river had just been completed. This poem was written around the year 760.

Du Fu: Government Agents in Shitao

 

Du Fu: Government Agents in Shitao

石 壕 吏
暮 投 石 壕 村
有 吏 夜 捉 人。
老 翁 越 墙 走
老 妇 出 门 看。
吏 呼 一 何 怒!
妇 啼 一 何 苦!
听 妇 前 致 词
三 男 邺 城 戊。
一 男 附 书 至
二 男 新 战 死。
存 者 且 偷 生
死 者 长 已 矣。
室 中 更 无 人
唯 有 乳 下 孙。
有 孙 母 未 去
出 入 无 完 裙。
老 妪 力 虽 衰
请 从 吏 夜 归。
急 应 河 阳 役
犹 得 备 晨 炊。
夜 久 语 声 绝
如 闻 泣 幽 咽。
天 明 登 前 途
独 与 老 翁 别。
Shi Hao Li

Mu tou shi hao cun
You li ye zhuo ren.
Lao weng yue qiang zou
Lao fu chu men kan.

Li hu yi he nu!
Fu ti yi he ku!
Ting fu qian zhi ci
San nan ye cheng wu

Yi nan fu shu zhi
Er nan xin zhan wai
Cun zhe qie tou sheng
Si zhe chang yi yi.

Shi zhong geng wu ren
Wei you ru xia sun
You sun mu wei qu
Chu ru wu wan qun

Lao yu li su shuai
Qing cong li ye gui.
Ji ying he yang yi
You dei bei chen chui

Ye jiu yu sheng jue
Ru wen qi you yan
Tian ming deng qian tu
Du yu lao weng bie.

Government Agents in Shi Hao

Sunset, I stay over in Shi Hao village
In the evening the petty government officials search for men
Old man climbed the wall and ran away
Old woman goes to see who is at the door.

Government agent cries out in anger!
Woman wept aloud with suffering!
She asked him to listen to her explanation
All three of my sons are with the army in Yecheng.

I just got a letter from one of them
He reported that two have been recently killed in combat
The survivor lives for a while hiding from death
Alas! These dead ones cannot come back.

My house is without any more men
Only have an infant grandchild
My daughter-in-law remains because she is a nursing mother
She does not possess clothes for going out into public.

As an old woman my power continues to decline
If necessary I can go with you this evening.
I can quickly join the battle in Heyang
Can still prepare a cooked morning meal for you and the army.

Deep into the evening the old man hears no words or sounds
But senses soft weeping and throat clearing
Break of dawn, the man emerges from the highway
He returned to a house where the old woman has already departed.

Notes:

Shitao: Literally means a stone moat.

Yecheng: Oasis and town located in the province of Xinjiang (far northwest of China)

Heyang: County inside the province of Shaanxi

Commentary:

This poem was written after Du Fu overheared one of his neighbors being harassed by government agents, who are looking for more men to serve in the imperial army.