Lu Yu: Heave a Deep Sigh

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Heave a Deep Sigh

 

 

太 息
太 息 贫 家 似 破 船
不 容 一 夕 得 安 眼。
春 忧 水 潦 秋 防 早
左 右 枝 梧 且 过 年。
祷 庙 祈 禅 望 岁 穰
今 年 中 熟 更 堪 伤。
百 钱 斗 米 无 人 要
贯 朽 何 时 发 积 藏?
北 陌 东 阡 有 故 墟
辛 勤 见 汝 昔 营 居。
豪 吞 暗 蚀 皆 逃 去
窥 户 无 人 草 满 庐。
Tai Xi

Tai xi pin jia si po chuan
Bu rong yi xi dei an yan.
Chun you shui lao qiu fang zao
Zuo you zhi wu qie guo nian.

Dao miao qi chan wang sui rang
Jin nian zhong shu geng kan shang.
Bai qian dou mi wu ren yao
Guan xiu he shi fa ji cang?

Bei mo dong qian you gu xu
Xin qin jian ru xi gong ju.
Hao tun an shi jie tao qu
Kui hu wu ren cao man lu.

 

Heave a Deep Sigh

Heave a deep sigh, poor households like broken boats
Cannot have one sunset of tranquility and rest.
Spring worries are heavy rainfall, for autumn they are an early drought
Left and right parasol tree branches this past year.

At the temple they pray and request a next year of mature grain stalks
This year had just enough of a harvest to endure and survive.
Can get one hundred of silver for a decaliter of grain, but no customers
When can the government release stored money that has been hiding?

The narrow footpaths running north and east between the fields are abandoned
See the hardworking have built a large group of houses.
After the rich and powerful have squeezed the peasants, they all escape and flee from them
See many doors surrounded by grass-filled huts without any people.

 

Notes:

Left and right parasol tree branches: Similar to our saying “Having to rob Peter to pay Paul.”

Release stored money: Literal translation is: breaking open the string, wire, or cord that holds one hundred coins. (as was practiced in ancient China)

 

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