Li Bai Poem: Orally Composed on the Western Tower of Jinling in Moonlight – 李白《金陵城西楼月下吟》

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金陵城西楼[1]月下吟

李白

金陵夜寂凉风发,

独上高楼望吴越[2]

白云映水摇空城[3]

白露垂珠滴秋月。

月下沉吟久不归,

古来相接[4]眼中稀。

解道[5]澄江净如练,

令人长忆谢玄晖[6]

注释:

[1] 西楼:南京城西孙楚酒楼,因西晋诗人孙楚曾来此登高呤咏而得名。

[2] 吴越:今江苏苏州至浙江绍兴一带。

[3] 空城:指城中寂无声息,像是无人居住的空城。

[4] 相接:指精神相通,有心灵上的共鸣。

[5] 解道:懂得说。

[6] 谢玄晖:谢朓的字,南齐著名诗人。他的《晚登三山还望京邑》诗中有云:“余霞散成绮,澄江净如练。”

Orally Composed on the Western Tower of Jinling in Moonlight

Li Bai

The cool breeze blows on silent night in Town of Stone,

To view the south I mount the high tower alone.

White clouds and city walls mirrored on ripples swoon;

Dewdrops look like pearls dripping from the autumn moon.

Crooning long, I won’t go back; drowned in moon rays;

How few are connoisseurs in my eyes since olden days!

Seeing the river crystal-clear and silver-white,

How I miss the unforgettable poet bright!

The poet gives free rein to his imagination in describing the scenery of Jinling or the Town of Stones: clouds could swoon, pearls could drip from the moon, and the poet could be drowned in moonlight. The unforgettable poet refers to Xie Tiao (464—499).

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