Li Shangyin’s Poetry – – 李商隐《宫辞》

Li Shangyin was born about 812 or 813 CE, but the exact date is uncertain. His career was rough, and he never obtained a high position, either because of factional disputes or because of his association with Liu Fen (劉蕡), a prominent opponent of the eunuchs.

 

宫辞

君恩如水[1]向东流,

得宠忧移失宠愁。

莫向尊前[2]奏花落,

凉风只在殿西头。

本篇与《宫妓》诗意相近,也可称之为姊妹篇,为讥讽牛党得宠者而作。一、二句是说君恩如日夜向东流淌的河水,谁也不可能把它留住。权力既能得之,也能失去,患得患失是这些人的通病。三、四句敬告受宠者不要得意忘形,应自当猛醒。

注释:

[1]君恩如水:君王的恩泽就像流水般漂移不定。

[2]尊前:宴席上。

A Palace Poem

Imperial favor flows like eastward running stream;

When won,it brings tear for loss;when lost,it brings woe.

Don’t sing before winecups the Fallen Blossom’s Dream,

For from Western Palace the cold wind will soon blow.

Note:The last two lines might serve as a warning against those who have won the imperial favor.