01 February 2016

盧綸 Lu Lun: 塞下曲 6首 其4 (野幕敝瓊筵) Border Song, 4 of 6 (A sumptuous banquet...)辜

This is number 4 of Lu Lun's "Border Song", numbers 1, 2 and 3 having been posted here in August 2014, January 2015 and March 2015 respectively.  You may wish to also go back to these.  I do hope you will enjoy them.  Here goes number 4:-   

Lu Lun (748-800?): Border Song, 4 of 6 (A sumptuous banquet is spread...)

1    A sumptuous banquet is spread, in the wild, the open air:
2    Our tribal allies have come, our hard-won victory to share.
3    (We dance in our battle armour, we drink, O let’s be drunk, with)
      We dance in battle armour, we drink, O let's be drunk, with
      (revised 7.2.16)
4    (Hills and rivulets swaying to the drum-beats’ thundering blare.)
      (Hills and rivulets swaying, to the drums' thundering blare.)
      (revised 7.2.16)
      Hills and rivers a-swaying to drum-beats' thundering blare.
      (revised 18.2.16)

Translated by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa)   譯者: 黃宏發
11th June 2015 (revised 12.6.15; 13.6.15; 7..2.16)
Translated from the original - 盧綸: 塞下曲 6首 其4 (野幕敝瓊筵)

1    野幕敝瓊筵
2    羌戎賀勞旋
3    醉和金甲舞
4    雷鼓動山川  


*Form, Metre and Rhyme:  This English rendition is in hexameter (6 beats or feet) while the original is in 5-character lines.  The rhyme scheme is AAXA as in the original.

*Line 2:    ”Qiang”  and “Rong” are the ancient names of 2 ethnic groups friendly to the “Han” majority and are, here, translated as “Our tribal allies”.   “labour”   “victory” are translated as “hard-won victory”.    “congratulate” is translated as “have come … to share” to rhyme with “air” in line 1 and “blare” in line 4.  I had considered “our victory, our joys to share” but have decided for “our hard-won victory to share”.

*Line 3:  甲  is translated literally as “armour”.   As means both “gold” and “metal”. I had considered translating金甲 as “golden armour” or “metal armour”, but have now decided for “battle armour”.  For ”dance”, I had considered words such as “rollick” or “frolic” which are more appropriate for the occasion, but have decided for the literal “dance”.

*Line 4:  I have rendered 雷鼓動 as “swaying to the drum-beats’ thundering blare” [added 7.2.16: now revised to "to the drums' thundering blare"] [added 18.2.16: now further revised to "a-swaying to drum-beats' thundering blare" and "rivulets" amended to read "rivers".].


Andrew W.F. Wong 黃宏發 said...

I have revised lines 3 and 4 to read:-
* We dance in battle armour, we drink, O let's be drunk, with
* Hills and rivulets swaying, to the drums' thundering blare.

you are what you read said...

Never easy to translate, nicely done!

you are what you read said...

Back in camp we arrive to a feast
The Qiang and Rong sing praise of our feats
A toast – to union and harmony - let us dance in our golden armor
Throughout the mountains and rivers sound our drum beats