Li Shangyin’s Poetry – – 李商隐《楚吟》

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.

 

楚吟

山[1]上离宫[2]宫上楼,

楼前宫畔暮江流。

楚天长短[3]黄昏雨,

宋玉[4]无愁亦自愁。

诗人乘舟行至江陵时欣然观景,见江畔上山峦起伏,巍然壮观,山上有离宫高楼耸立,遥想如在黄昏时从宫楼上俯视山下即可见江水奔流,大自然真是美不胜收。紧接着,诗人联想到自己的现实处境,心情压抑,精神不振,想起古人宋玉的苦衷,身世沉沦,仕宦坎坷,更何况在秋雨黄昏之时,自然触景伤情,悲凉无限。

注释:

[1]山:指巫山。

[2]离宫:巫山西北的楚宫。

[3]长短:无论长短。即“总之”,“横竖”。

[4]宋玉:战国楚辞赋家。

The Southern King’s Tryst with the Mountain Goddess

Uphill the palace stands,above the halls a bower,

The stream before the halls carries twilight away.

The evening sky brings flesh showers for thirsting flower.

How could the griefless poet without sorrow stay?

Note:The griefless poet in the last line refers to Song Yu(宋玉)who wrote about the dream of the Southern King’s(楚襄王)tryst with the Goddess of Mount Witch(巫山神女)in the bower uphill.The poet is grieved for the king of the Tang Dynasty also dreams of his own joy without doing good to the people.