Liu Xiyi Poem: Admonition on the Part of a White-haired Old Man – 刘希夷《代悲白头翁》

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代悲白头翁

刘希夷

洛阳城东桃李花,

飞来飞去落谁家?

洛阳女儿惜颜色,

坐见落花长叹息。

今年落花颜色改,

明年花开复谁在?

已见松柏摧为薪[1]

更闻桑田变成海[2]

古人无复洛城东,

今人还对落花风。

年年岁岁花相似,

岁岁年年人不同。

寄言全盛红颜子,

应怜半死白头翁。

此翁白头真可怜,

伊昔红颜美少年。

公子王孙芳树下[3]

清歌妙舞落花前。

光禄[4]池台文锦绣[5]

将军[6]楼阁画神仙。

一朝卧病无相识,

三春行乐在谁边?

婉转蛾眉[7]能几时?

须臾鹤发乱如丝。

但看古来歌舞地,

唯有黄昏鸟雀悲!

注释:

[1] 松柏摧为薪:松柏被砍伐作柴薪。《古诗十九首》:“古墓犁为田,松柏摧为薪。”

[2] 桑田变成海:《神仙传》:“麻姑谓王方平曰:’接待以来,已见东海三为桑田。’”

[3] “公子”二句:这两句说,白头翁年轻时曾和公子王孙在树下花前共赏清歌妙舞。

[4] 光禄:光禄勋。用东汉马援之子马防的典故。《后汉书·马援传》(附马防传)载:马防在汉章帝时拜光禄勋,生活很奢侈。

[5] 池台文锦绣:指以锦绣装饰池台中物。

[6] 将军:指东汉贵戚梁冀,他曾为大将军。《后汉书·粱冀传》栽:梁冀大兴土木,建造府宅。

[7] 婉转蛾眉:本为年轻女子的面部化妆,此代指青春年华。

Admonition on the Part of a White-haired Old Man

Liu Xiyi

The peach and plum flowers east of the capital

Fly up and down and here and there. Where will they fall?

The maiden in the capital loves rosy hue;

She would sigh for the flowers falling out of view.

Her rosy color fades when flowers fall this year.

When flowers blow again, will she pretty appear?

I’ve seen cypress cut down as fuel with pine trees;

I’ve heard the mulberry fields turn into the seas.

We see no ancients now east of capital town,

But we still see today the wind blow flowers down.

The flowers of this year look like those of last year;

But next year the same people will not reappear.

I’d like to tell the rosy faces in their prime

Not to forget the old before their dying time.

Pitiable is the old man whose hair turns white,

But in his prime he was rosy-cheeked, fair and bright.

Noble sons and daughters under the leafy trees

Sing and dance before the flowers blown down by the breeze.

By lakeside stand ministers’ richly brocaded bowers;

Pictures of immortals hang in generals’ towers.

When you’re ill and cast down, with you none would abide.

Who would then make merry in spring days by your side?

How long can your finely arched eyebrows remain fair?

Your head will soon be covered with disheveled hair.

See where the noble sang and danced in merriment,

Now you can only hear at dusk the birds’ lament.

The poet admonishes young men and maidens not to waste their golden hours of youth.

《代悲白头翁》是唐代诗人刘希夷的作品。此诗虽是拟古乐府,但构思精妙,开拓了全新的意境。诗中多处运用对比手法,大量使用重叠语句,循环复沓,再者以四个问句引领,一唱三叹,韶华不再的无奈辛酸在反复追问咏叹中被层层浓重着色,具有强大的穿透力。此诗感伤情调极为浓郁,但并不颓废,风格清丽婉转,曲尽其妙,艺术性较高,历来传为名篇。

The poem “Admonition on the Part of a White-haired Old Man” is a work by Liu Xiyi, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. Although this poem is a pseudo-ancient musical composition, it is exquisitely conceived and opens up a whole new mood. The poem uses many contrasting techniques, a large number of overlapping phrases, and a cycle of repetition, and then leads with four questions, singing three sighs, the helplessness and sorrow of Shaohua no longer in the repeated questioning and chanting is colored by layers and layers of strong penetrating power. The poem has a strong sentimental tone, but it is not decadent, the style is clear and gentle, and the artistry is high, so it has been passed down as a famous piece.

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