Meng Haoran: At Night Drop Anchor at Niuzhu, Fail to Meet Up With Qianba’s Boat

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At Night Drop Anchor at Niuzhu, Fail to Meet Up With Qianba’s Boat

夜 泊 牛 渚 趁 钱 八 不 及
星 罗 牛 渚 宿
风 退 鹢 舟 迟。
浦 潋 常 同 宿
烟 波 忽 问 之。
榜 歌 空 里 失
船 火 望 中 疑。
明 发 泛 湖 海
茫 茫 何 处 期?
Ye Bo Niu Zhu Chen Qian Ba Chuan Bu Ji

Xing luo niu zhu su
Feng tui yi zhou chi.
Pu lian chang tong su
Yan bo hu wen zhi.

Bang ge kong li shi
Chuan huo wang zhong yi.
Ming fa fan hu hai
Mang mang he chu qi ?

 

At Night Drop Anchor at Niuzhu, Fail to Meet Up With Qianba’s Boat

Cooking at sunset, the constellations of Oxherd and Weavergirl overhead
My boat and the water fowl delayed here waiting for a late surge of wind.
Often have to spend the night here at the same overflowing river’s edge
Suddenly mists and waves go away to reveal me.

Announcement songs get lost inside the mists, and into the sky
Boat lanterns in the distance uncertain.
Lakes and seas emerge from a clearing that is expanding
Boundless and vast, where can we see each other again ?

 

Notes:

Oxherd and Weavergirl:  These figures come from an ancient Chinese mythological story. The stars Altair (Oxherd) and Vega (Weavergirl) represent two eternal lovers separated by the Milky Way. Once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, they reunite by way of a bridge created by many magpies. In the West we have Valentines Day.

 

Commentary:

Meng is thinking of his wife and children at home.

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