Du Mu: West Street of Chang’an

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West Street of Chang’an

街 西 长 句
碧 池 新 涨 浴 娇 鸦
分 锁 长 安 富 贵 家。
游 骑 偶 同 人 斗 酒
名 园 相 倚 杏 交 花。
银 鞦 騕 袅 嘶 宛 马
绣 鞅 璁 珑 走 钿 车。
一 曲 将 军 何 处 笛
连 云 芳 树 日 初 斜。
Jie Xi Chang Ju

Bi chi xin zhang yu jiao ya
Fen suo chang an fu gui jia.
You qi ou tong ren dou jiu
Ming yuan xiang yi xing jiao hua.

Yin qiu yao niao si wan ma
Xiu yang cong long zou dian che.
Yi qu jiang jun he chu di
Lian yun fang shu ri chu xie.

 

West Street of Chang’an

Bluish-green canal water fresh and rising, ducks delicately bathe
Water separates into two locks, Chang’an high and wealthy houses are here.
Travelers and their horses meet here to play games and drink wine
Garden ladies befriend apricot flowers and each other.

Neighing Yao Niao horses decorated with shiny adornments
Reins with pieces of jade tinkle, walk in front of gold-foiled patterned carriages.
One king played a flute song for an army general
Sun begins to set into connected clouds and fragrant trees.

 

Notes:

Yao Niao: A type of horse noted for being slender and delicate.

One king: This line involves a story that comes from the Jin Dynasty. Wang Weizi was an army general who was ordered to come to the palace. He decided to travel there in a small and simple boat. To rest, the boat and he were moored to a riverside.
A passerby noticed the boat with a man inside it. The passerby was the king of a small nearby kingdom. The man inside the boat was the general. The general asked the passerby if he could play the flute for him. The king obliged him, and then left without knowing who the man in the boat was. This was a period of time when a king could play a flute song for a total stranger.

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