Bai Juyi: Lament for My Son Cui ~ 白居易·《哭崔儿》 with English Translations

白居易(772年-846年),字乐天,号香山居士,又号醉吟先生,祖籍山西太原,到其曾祖父时迁居下邽,生于河南新郑 。白居易是唐代伟大的现实主义诗人,唐代三大诗人之一。白居易与元稹共同倡导新乐府运动,世称”元白”,与刘禹锡并称”刘白”。






Lament for My Son Cui

Bai Juyi

A pearl that lasted

for but three years;

and now my temples are

white than snow; at sixty

I never imagined that you

would precede me into the shady world;

I felt sad that I

would not live long enough

to see you blossom; now

my heart is cut

by a sword; weeping so much,

I have become half blind; how

I miss the feel of you

in my arms; I have become like

Deng You1 of ancient days.

1. Deng You (?-326) allowed his own child to die while saving the life of his nephew.

(Rewi Alley 译)

Mourning A-Ts’ui

Po Chü-I

A three-year-old son, one pearl treasured so in the hand.

A sixty-year-old father, hair a thousand streaks of snow,

I can’t think through it—you become some strange thing,

and sorrow endless now you’ll never grow into a person.

There’s no swordstroke clarity when grief tears the heart,

and tears darkening my eyes aren’t rinsing red dust away,

but I’m still nurturing emptiness—emptiness of heaven’s

black black, this childless life stretching away before me.

(David Hinton 译)

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