29 May 2008

杜秋娘 Du Qiuniang: 金縷衣 Robe Embroidered in Gold

The following is a most recent translation of mine. It is the only poem by a woman poet (poetess) of the Tang Dynasty included in the anthology "300 Poems of the Tang Dynasty". From the fact that Du Mu (803-852) wrote a poem to Du Qiuniang, she must have lived in the early 800's.

Du Qiuniang (early 800's): Robe Embroidered in Gold

1  Cherish not, I pray, your robe embroidered in gold;
2  Cherish, I pray, relish - the days before you're old.
3  Flowers fit for plucking, you pluck while still in bloom,
4  Lest you pluck but twigs denuded, bald, bare and cold.

Translated by Andrew W.F. Wong (Huang Hongfa)    譯者: 黃宏發
21 May 2008.
Translated from the original - 杜秋娘: 金縷衣

1  勸君莫惜金縷衣
2  勸君惜取少年時
3  花開堪折直須折
4  莫待無花空折枝

*Lines 3 and 4: The word "you" can be deleted from line 3 and the words "you pluck" in line 4 can be replaced by "pluck'st" which sounds archaic but means the same.

Classical Chinese Poems in English


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