李白《秦王扫六合》 – Li Bai poems in chinese and english

Li Bai is widely recognized as one of the greatest poets in Chinese history.

 

秦王扫六合

秦王扫六合,

虎视何雄哉!

挥剑决浮云,

诸侯尽西来。

雄图发英断,

大略驾群才。

收兵铸[1]金人,

函谷正东开。

铭功会稽[2]岭,

骋望琅玡台。

刑徒七十万,

起土骊山隈[3]。

尚采不死药,

茫然使心哀。

连弩射海鱼,

长鲸正崔嵬[4]。

额鼻象五岳,

扬波喷云雷。

鬐鬣[5]蔽青天,

何由睹蓬莱?

徐市载秦女,

楼船几时回?

但见三泉下,

金棺葬寒灰!

李白对秦始皇的评价,是毁誉参半的,也是比较客观的。首先他肯定了秦始皇的历史功绩,对秦始皇的正面颂扬也很有气势,但这显然不是大诗人真正想表达的。疲弊天下,严刑峻法,期不死,筑高陵,求仙药,猎长鲸,最后却“但见三泉下,金棺葬寒灰”,这才是诗人的本意,深刻地揭露了秦始皇自私、贪婪、空虚、恐惧的内心世界。李白站在超越时间、超越客观历史的角度,用大部分的篇幅批判秦始皇,实属借古讽今:唐玄宗也和秦始皇一样,早年励精图治,开创了唐朝的极盛时期——开元盛世,后来又变得骄奢淫逸,怠慢朝政,最后迷信方士妄求长生。李白此诗,历史结合夸张想象,叙事结合抒情,批判现实主义结合浪漫主义,挥洒自如,跌宕生姿,是不可多得的佳作。

注释:

[1]铸:把金属熔化后倒在模子里制成器物。

[2]会稽:中国古代郡名,位于长江下游江南一带。

[3]隈:形容山水弯曲的地方。

[4]崔嵬:形容物体高大的样子。

[5]鬐(qí)鬣(liè):鱼脊和鱼颌上的羽状部分。

The Emperor of Qin

The Emperor had swept the world of his foes,

Looking around like a tiger he rose.

He broke the floating clouds while wielding swords,

Westward to pay their homage came all lords.

He made great plans and formed decisions wise,

In front of him all heroes dwarfed in size.

He melted weapons into statues of brass,

And opened to the East the frontier pass.

He built a monument on Eastern Hill,

And rode to Southern Tower to gaze his fill.

He worked seven hundred thousand slaves

To build in deep mountain recess his graves.

He sought elixir of immortality,

These contradictory deeds puzzle me.

He bent his bow to shoot the monster whale

Sweeping the sea with its enormous tail.

Its head and nose erect’d like mountains proud,

And water spout’d like thunder and like cloud.

Its dorsal fin might cover azure sky.

Could seamen find the Fairy Islands[1]high?

The alchemist with maidens went to sea.

When could their galleys come back?We but see

Buried in underworld,the ashes cold

Of Emperor of Qin in coffin made of gold!

注释:

[1]The Emperor of Qin(reigned 246–210 B.C.)sent an alchemist to sea to seek for the elixir of immortality in the Fairy Islands.The alchemist reported that a monster was barring the seaway and the Emperor shot dead a giant whale.