Bai Juyi: Climb Up to Le Youyuan To Gaze Into the Distance

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Climb Up to Le Youyuan To Gaze Into the Distance

登 乐 游 园 望
独 上 乐 游 园
四 望 天 日 曛。
东 北 何 霭 霭
宫 阙 入 烟 云。
爱 此 高 外 立
忽 如 遗 垢 氛。
耳 目 暂 清 旷
怀 抱 郁 不 伸。
下 视 十 二 街
绿 树 间 红 尘。
车 马 徒 满 眼
不 见 心 所 亲。
孔 生 死 洛 阳
元 九 谪 荆 门。
可 怜 南 北 路
高 盖 者 何 人?
Deng Yue You Yuan Wang

Du shang yue you yuan
Si wang tian ri xun.
Dong bei he ai ai
Gong que ru yan yun.

Ai ci gao wai li
Hu ru yi gou fen.
Er mu zan qing kuang
Huai bao yu bu shen.

Xia shi shi er jie
Lu shu jian hong chen.
Che ma tu man yan
Bu jian xin suo qin.

Kong sheng si luo yang
Yuan jiu zhe jing men.
Ke lian nan bei lu
Gao gai zhe he ren?

 

Climb Up to Le Youyuan To Gaze Into the Distance

By myself climb up to Le Youyuan
Gaze into the distance in all four directions, the sky glowing from a setting sun.
Northeast very misty and hazy
Palace gate watchtower enters the mists and clouds.

Love this tall and established vista
Like losing and forgetting the dirty atmosphere.
Eyes and ears briefly clear of pettiness and worries
Heart still holding to sorrow, not yet poured out.

Later look upon the twelve near-palace street grid
In between the green trees and red clay dirt.
Horses, carriages and pedestrians fill my eyes
Do not see friends or relatives that are near my heart-mind.

Heard news that Mr. Kong has died in Luoyang
Yuan Jiu was exiled to far away Hubei.
Can sympathize with those on southern roads to exile, and on the northern roads to the capital
Who on these roads are riding in fancy and canopied carriages?

 

Notes:

Le Youyuan: Area of hills and gardens in the southeast suburbs of the capital city Chang’an.

 

Commentary:

Misters Kong and Yuan Jiu were both friends and co-workers of Bai Juyi during their palace days.  This poem reminds me of the popular American song, “Up On the Roof”.  The ancient Chinese poets wrote many poems while on, or in an elevated location, most often on a tower.

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