Yuan Zhen Poem: To My Deceased Wife – 元稹《遣悲怀三首》

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遣悲怀三首

元稹

(其二)

昔日戏言身后意,

今朝都到眼前来。

衣裳已施行看尽[1]

针线犹存未忍开。

尚想旧情怜婢仆,

也曾因梦送钱财。

诚知此恨[2]人人有,

贫贱夫妻百事哀。

(其三)

闲坐悲君[3]亦自悲,

百年[4]都是几多时。

邓攸无子寻知命[5]

潘岳悼亡[6]犹费辞。

同穴窅冥何所望[7]

他生缘会更难期[8]

唯将终夜长开眼[9]

报答平生[10]未展眉[11]

注释:

[1] 行看尽:即将送完了。

[2] 此恨:指夫妻死别之情。

[3] 君:指韦氏。

[4] 百年:指一生。

[5] “邓攸”句:邓攸。字伯遣,西晋时人,曾任河东太守,在战乱中舍弃自己的儿子而保全侄子,后来终生无子,当时人有“天道无知,使伯道无儿”之叹。知命,认识到是命中注定的。

[6] 潘岳悼亡:西晋诗人潘岳写了很悲痛的悼亡诗,但死去的妻子也不会知道。这也指诗人自己。

[7] “同穴”句:同穴,指夫妻合葬。窅(yǎo)冥,深远幽暗的样子。何所望,意思是洞穴窅冥,死后合葬,悲哀之情难以相通。

[8] “他生”句:来生。缘会,姻缘遇合。期。期待。

[9] “唯将”句:唯将,只将。长开眼,指彻夜不眠。

[10] 平生:指韦氏生前。

[11] 未展眉:指韦氏生前一直过着清苦的生活,很少欢悦。

To My Deceased Wife

Yuan Zhen

(Ⅱ)

“What if one of us should die?” we said for fun one day;

But now it has come true and passed before my eyes.

I can’t bear to see your clothes and give them away;

I seal your embroidery lest it should draw my sighs.

Remembering your kindness, I’m kind to our maids;

Dreaming of your bounty, I give bounties as before.

I know there is no mortal but returns to the shades,

But a poor couple like us have more to deplore.

(Ⅲ)

Sitting idle, I grieve for myself as for you;

How many days are left for my declining years?

Another childless man fared better than I do;

Another widower lavished vain verse and tears.

Could I await a better fate than our same tomb?

Could you be born again and again be my wife?

With eyes unclosed all night long I’ll lie in the gloom

To repay you for your unknit brows in your life.

The poet has written three poems for his deceased wife and two of them are selected here.

《遣悲怀三首》是唐代诗人元稹的组诗作品。这三首诗重在伤悼作者已故的原配妻子韦丛。第一首诗追忆往日的艰苦处境和妻子的体贴关怀,表达共贫贱而未能共富贵的遗憾;第二首诗紧承上首,描写妻子死后的情景,以施舍旧衣、怜惜婢仆寄托深切的哀思;第三首诗因妻子的早逝而慨叹人生的短暂,一死便成永别,抒发没有穷尽的长恨,突出悲怀,深化主题。全诗直抒胸臆,朴素自然,以浅近通俗的语言和娓娓动人的描绘,抒写缠绵哀痛的真情,是古代悼亡诗中的佳作。

Three Poems for Grieving is a group of poems by Yuan Zhen, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. These three poems focus on mourning for the author’s late wife, Wei Cong. The first poem recalls the hardships of the past and the thoughtful care of his wife, expressing the regret of being poor together but not rich together; the second poem follows the previous one, describing the scene after his wife’s death and expressing his deep sorrow by giving old clothes and pitying his servant; the third poem laments the brevity of life because of his wife’s early death, and expresses the endless hatred once she dies, highlighting the sorrow and deepening the theme. The whole poem is straightforward, simple and natural, with simple and common language and moving descriptions, expressing the true feelings of lingering sorrow, which is one of the best ancient poems of mourning for the dead.

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