Fan Zhongyan: Yueyang Pavilion ~ 范仲淹 《岳阳楼记》 with English Translations

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小编导读:《岳阳楼记》是北宋文学家范仲淹应好友巴陵郡太守滕子京之请,于北宋庆历六年(1046年)九月十五日为重修岳阳楼写的。其中的诗句“先天下之忧而忧,后天下之乐而乐”、“不以物喜,不以己悲”是较为出名和引用较多的句子。文章通过对洞庭湖的侧面描写衬托岳阳楼。滕子京是被诬陷擅自动用官钱而被贬的,范仲淹正是借作记之机,含蓄规劝他要“不以物喜,不以己悲”,试图以自己“先天下之忧而忧,后天下之乐而乐”的济世情怀和乐观精神感染老友。这是本文命意之所在,也决定了文章叙议结合的风格。《岳阳楼记》超越了单纯写山水楼观的狭境,将自然界的晦明变化、风雨阴晴和“迁客骚人”的“览物之情”结合起来写,从而将全文的重心放到了纵议政治理想方面,扩大了文章的境界。

范仲淹 《岳阳楼记》

庆历四年春,滕子京谪守巴陵郡。越明年,政通人和,百废俱兴。乃重修岳阳楼,增其旧制,刻唐贤、今人诗赋于其上,属予作文以记之。

予观夫巴陵胜状,在洞庭一湖。衔远山,吞长江,浩浩汤汤,横无际涯;朝晖夕阴,气象万千;此则岳阳楼之大观也。前人之述备矣。然则北通巫峡,南极潇湘,迁客骚人,多会于此;览物之情,得无异乎?

若夫霪雨霏霏,连月不开;阴风怒号,浊浪排空;日星隐耀,山岳潜形;商旅不行,樯倾楫摧;薄暮冥冥,虎啸猿啼;登斯楼也,则有去国怀乡,忧谗畏讥,满目萧然,感极而悲者矣。

至若春和景明,波澜不惊,上下天光,一碧万顷,沙鸥翔集,锦鳞游泳,岸芷汀兰,郁郁青青。而或长烟一空,皓月千里,浮光跃金,静影沉璧,渔歌互答,此乐何极!登斯楼也,则有心旷神怡,宠辱皆忘,把酒临风,其喜洋洋者矣。

嗟夫!予尝求古仁人之心,或异二者之为。何哉?不以物喜,不以己悲。居庙堂之高,则忧其民;处江湖之远,则忧其君。是进亦忧,退亦忧;然则何时而乐耶?其必曰:“先天下之忧而忧,后天下之乐而乐”欤!噫!微斯人,吾谁与归!

时六年九月十五日。


Yueyang Pavilion

In the spring ofthe fourth year of the reign of Qingli, Teng Zijing was banished from thecapital to be governor of Baling Prefecture. After he had governed the districtfor a year, the administration became efficient, the people became united, andall things that had fallen into disrepair were given a new lease on life. Thenhe restored Yueyang Pavilion, adding new splendor to the original structure andhaving inscribed on it poems by famous men of the Tang Dynasty as well as thepresent time. And he asked me to write an essay to commemorate this. Now I havefound that the finest sights of Baling are concentrated in the region of LakeDongting. Dongting, nibbling at the distant hills and gulping down the YangtzeRiver, strikes all beholders as vast and infinite, presenting a scene ofboundless variety; and this is the superb view from Yueyang Pavilion. All thishas been described in full by writers of earlier ages. However, since the lakeis linked with Wu Gorge in the north and extends to the Xiao and Xiang riversin the south, many exiles and wandering poets gather here and their reactionsto these sights vary greatly. During a period of incessant rain, when a spellof bad weather continues for more than a month, when louring winds bellowangrily, tumultuous waves hurl themselves against the sky, sun and stars hidetheir light, hills and mountains disappear, merchants have to halt in thetravels, masts collapse and oars splinter, the day darkens and the roars oftigers and howls of monkeys are heard, if men come to this pavilion with alonging for home in their hearts or nursing a feeling of bitterness because oftaunts and slander, they may find the sight depressing and fall prey toagitation or despair. But during mild and bright spring weather, then the wavesare unruffled and the azure translucence above and below stretches before youreyes for myriads of li, when the water-birds fly down to congregate on thesands and fish with scales like glimmering silk disport themselves in thewater, when the iris and orchids on the banks grow luxuriant and green; or whendusk falls over this vast expanse and bright moon casts its light a thousandli, when the rolling waves glitter like gold and silent shadows in the waterglimmer like jade, and the fishermen sing to each other for sheer joy, then mencoming up to this pavilion may feel complete freedom of heart and ease of spirit,forgetting every worldly gain or setback, to hold their winecups in the breezein absolute elation, delighted with life. But again when I consider the men ofold who possessed true humanity, they seem to have responded quite differently.The reason, perhaps, may be this: natural beauty was not enough to make themhappy, nor their own situation enough to make them sad. When such men are highin the government or at court, their first concern is for the people; when theyretire to distant streams and lakes, their first concern is for theirsovereign. Thus they worry both when in office and when in retirement. When,then, can they enjoy themselves in life? No doubt they are concerned beforeanyone else and enjoy themselves only after everyone else finds enjoyment.Surely these are the men in whose footsteps I should follow!

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