Li Bai: Autumn Thoughts

 

Autumn Thoughts

 

秋 思
阏 氏 黄 叶 落
妾 望 白 登 台。
海 上 碧 云 断
单 于 秋 色 来。
胡 兵 沙 塞 合
汉 使 玉 关 回。
征 客 无 归 日
空 悲 蕙 草 摧。

 

Qiu Si

Yan zhi huang ye luo
Qie wang bai deng tai.
Hai shang bi yun duan
Chan yu qiu se lai.

Hu bing sha sai he
Han shi yu guan hui.
Zheng ke wu gui ri
Kong bei hui cao cui.

Autumn Thoughts

Yanzhi has falling yellow leaves
Ladies and concubines gaze into the distance from the Baideng Terrace.
Above an ocean of bluish-green clouds that are breaking up
In Chanyu the autumn colors have arrived.

Northern nomadic warriors gather on the cold desert sands
Han armies meet them to negotiate peace, but they return to inside the gates.
Soldiers cannot make the long journeys home
Emptiness and sorrow as the sweet-smelling plants have withered and died.

 

Notes:

Yanzhi: Area of Sichuan Province

Baideng Terrace: Rice paddy terraces of southwestern China. Over 1,300 years old and still in existence in Yunnan Province.

Chanyu: The title given to a long line of Xingu (Mongolian) leaders.  Their strategic strongholds were in the Yin mountains.

 

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