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".].

Classical Chinese Poems in English


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