Liu Zongyuan: The Rocky Gorge ~ 《石涧记》 柳宗元 with English Translations

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小编导读:《石涧记》为唐代文学家柳宗元创作的一篇散文,为《永州八记》的第七篇。文章着重写石态水容,写涧中石和树的特色,描绘了石涧溪石的千姿百态,清流激湍,翠羽成荫,景色美丽宜人,表达了作者热爱自然,钟情山水的情怀,同时又书写了胸中愤郁,对自己的遭遇表示叹息和苦闷。

《石涧记》 柳宗元

石渠之事既穷,上由桥西北下土山之阴,民又桥焉。其水之大,倍石渠三之一。亘石为底,达于两涯。若床,若堂,若陈宴席,若限阃奥。水平布其上,流若织文,响若操琴。揭跣而往,折竹,扫陈叶,排腐木,可罗胡床十八九居之。交络之流,触激之音,皆在床下。翠羽之木,龙鳞之石,均荫其上。古之人其有乐乎此耶?后之来者,有能追予之践履耶?得意之日,与石渠同。
由渴而来者,先石渠,后石涧;由百家濑上而来者,先石涧,后石渠。
涧之可穷者,皆出石城村东南,其闲可乐者数焉。其上深山幽林,逾峭险,道狭不可穷也。

The Rocky Gorge
Liu Zongyuan

After exploring the trough I struck northwest from the bridge down the north side of the hill, to where another bridge has been made. The water here is one third wider than at the trough. And from bank to bank the brook is paved with rock which resembles in turn a couch, a hall, a banqueting table, or an inner chamber. The water flows smoothly over, with ripples like patterned silk and a sound like the strumming of a lyre. I tucked up my clothes and went barefoot, breaking off bamboos, sweeping away dead leaves and clearing the rotten wood, so that now eighteen or nineteen people can recline on hammocks here. The waves eddy and gurgle beneath these hammocks, which are shaded by trees with green plumage and rocks with dragon scales. What men of old knew such enjoyment as this? Will later generations tread in my footsteps? My pleasure that day was as great as when I discovered the trough.
From Yuan Family Ghyll you come first to the trough, then to this gorge. From Hundred Families Creek you come first to the gorge, then to the trough.
The only accessible part of the gorge is southeast of Stone Town Village, where there are several delightful spots. Further up, the high hills and dark forests grow steep and impenetrable, and the narrow paths are difficult to follow.

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