Bai Juyi: Arise Early Morning For a Dongting Lake Boat Trip

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Arise Early Morning Bound For a Dongting Lake Boat Trip

早 发 赴 洞 庭 舟 中 作
阊 门 曙 色 欲 苍 苍
星 月 高 低 宿 水 光。
棹 举 影 摇 灯 烛 动
舟 移 声 曳 管 弦 长。
渐 看 海 树 红 生 日
遥 见 包 山 白 带 霜。
出 郭 已 行 十 五 里
唯 销 一 曲 慢 霓 裳。
Zao Fa Fu Dong Ting Zhou Zhong Zuo

Chang men shu se yu cang cang
Xing yue gao di su shui guang.
Zhao ju ying yao deng zhu dong
Zhou yi sheng ye guan xian chang.

Jian kan hai shu hong sheng ri
Yao jiang bao shan bai dai shuang.
Chu guo yi xing shi wu li
Wei xiao yi qu man ni chang.

 

Arise Early Morning Bound For a Dongting Lake Boat Trip

At daybreak, dawn colors boundless while passing through Suzhou’s main gate
All night long the moon and stars tall with lower scenery.
Raised oar shadows, lantern sways back and forth, candles move
Shifting and pulling boat sounds, long flute and string melodies.

Flowing around small islands, red sun rising behind their trees
Faraway see mountains covered by areas of frost.
Already traveled three miles from the outer city walls
Just now the slow tempo of the Rainbow Skirt song has ended.

 

Notes:

Dongting Lake:  Large and shallow lake in northeast Hunan Province. As the flood basin for the Changjiang, it was at one time the largest lake in China, but is now the second largest.

Rainbow Skirt song:  Slow and gentle Tang Dynasty palace court music and dance performed by women in feathered dresses. Music was composed by emperor Xuanzong, and choreographed by his consort Yang Guifei.

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