Bai Juyi Poems: Song of a Pipa Player – 白居易《琵琶行》

 

琵琶行

浔阳江[1]头夜送客,

枫叶荻花秋瑟瑟。

主人下马客在船,

举酒欲饮无管弦。

醉不成欢惨将别,

别时茫茫江浸月。

忽闻水上琵琶声,

主人忘归客不发。

寻声暗问弹者谁?

琵琶声停欲语迟。

移船相近邀相见,

添酒回灯[2]重开宴。

千呼万唤始出来,

犹抱琵琶半遮面。

转轴拨弦三两声,

未成曲调先有情。

弦弦掩抑[3]声声思[4],

似诉平生不得志。

低眉信手续续弹,

说尽心中无限事。

轻拢慢捻抹复挑,

初为《霓裳》后《六幺》[5]。

大弦嘈嘈如急雨,

小弦切切如私语。

嘈嘈切切错杂弹,

大珠小珠落玉盘。

间关[6]莺语花底滑,

幽咽[7]泉流冰下难[8]。

冰泉冷涩弦凝绝[9],

凝绝不通声暂歇。

别有幽愁暗恨生,

此时无声胜有声。

银瓶乍破水浆迸,

铁骑突出刀枪鸣。

曲终收拨当心画,

四弦一声如裂帛。

东船西舫悄无言,

唯见江心秋月白。

沉吟放拨插弦中,

整顿衣裳起敛容[10]。

自言本是京城女,

家在虾蟆陵[11]下住。

十三学得琵琶成,

名属教坊[12]第一部。

曲罢曾教善才服,

妆成每被秋娘[13]妒。

五陵年少争缠头[14],

一曲红绡[15]不知数。

钿头银篦[16]击节碎,

血色罗裙翻酒污。

今年欢笑复明年,

秋月春风等闲[17]度。

弟走从军阿姨死,

暮去朝来颜色故[18]。

门前冷落鞍马稀,

老大嫁作商人妇。

商人重利轻别离,

前月浮梁[19]买茶去。

去来[20]江口守空船,

绕船月明江水寒。

夜深忽梦少年事,

梦啼妆泪红阑干。

我闻琵琶已叹息,

又闻此语重唧唧[21]。

同是天涯沦落人,

相逢何必曾相识!

我从去年辞帝京,

谪居卧病浔阳城。

浔阳地僻无音乐,

终岁不闻丝竹声。

住近湓江地低湿,

黄芦苦竹绕宅生。

其间旦暮闻何物?

杜鹃啼血猿哀鸣。

春江花朝秋月夜,

往往取酒还独倾。

岂无山歌与村笛?

呕哑嘲哳[22]难为听。

今夜闻君琵琶语,

如听仙乐耳暂[23]明。

莫辞更坐弹一曲,

为君翻作《琵琶行》。

感我此言良久立,

却坐[24]促弦弦转急。

凄凄不似向前声[25],

满座重闻皆掩泣。

座中泣下谁最多?

江州司马青衫[26]湿!

《琵琶行》和《长恨歌》一样,也是白居易的传世名作。早在作者生前,已经是“童子解吟长恨曲,胡儿能唱琵琶篇”了。作者在诗中写自己从长安被贬到九江之后,在江边送客时,听到船上的歌女弹奏琵琶,诉说天涯沦落之恨,就同客人登船听乐。但是琵琶女“千呼万唤始出来”,因为她有话不便明说,也不愿意见人,只是借琵琶来揭示自己的内心世界。所以她弹奏的乐曲“似诉平生不得意”,“说尽心中无限事”。作者借助语言的音韵摹写音乐,用各种生动的比喻来加强形象性,如“大珠小珠落玉盘”就是用视觉形象来显露听觉形象;又如“别有幽愁暗恨生,此时无声胜有声”,更描绘了余音袅袅、余味无穷的艺术境界。这样,作者通过音乐形象的千变万化,展现了琵琶女起伏回荡的心潮。最后,作者更写琵琶女自诉身世,详昔而略今;写自己的遭遇,则详今而略昔。这样,他又使两个天涯沦落人的遗恨,一同流传千古了。

注释:

[1]浔阳江:据考证为流经浔阳城的湓水,即江西省九江市北的龙开河(1997年被人工填埋)。

[2]回灯:重新点亮灯光。

[3]掩抑:压抑。

[4]思(sì):悲伤的思绪。

[5]《六幺》:唐代著名歌舞曲,又名《录要》《绿腰》《乐世》。

[6]间(jiàn)关:鸟鸣声,莺语流转为“间关”。

[7]幽咽:阻塞不畅。

[8]冰下难:泉流冰下阻塞难通,形容弦声由流畅转为冷涩。

[9]凝绝:凝滞。

[10]敛容:神情庄重的样子。

[11]虾(há)蟆陵:长安城东南,曲江附近。

[12]教坊:唐代管理宫廷乐队、教练歌舞的官方机构。

[13]秋娘:唐代歌舞伎常用的名号,此处泛指艺高貌美的歌伎。

[14]缠头:用锦帛缠住乐舞者的头,以示奖赏。

[15]绡(xiāo):精致的丝织品。

[16]钿(diàn)头银篦(bì):镶嵌着精美花钿的篦形发饰;篦,梳子。

[17]等闲:随随便便,形容虚度光阴。

[18]颜色故:容颜老去。

[19]浮梁:地名,唐属饶州。

[20]去来:离别后;来,语气助词。

[21]唧唧:叹息声。

[22]呕哑嘲(zhāo)哳(zhā):形容声音噪杂。

[23]暂:突然。

[24]却坐:坐回到原处。

[25]向前声:之前弹奏过的曲调。

[26]青衫:唐朝官服颜色由官阶决定,白居易时任官阶从九品,着青衫。

Song of a Pipa Player

One night by riverside I bade a friend goodbye;

In maple leaves and rushes autumn seemed to sigh.

My friend and I dismounted and came into the boat;

We wished to drink but there was no music afloat.

Without flute songs we drank our cups with heavy head;

The moonbeams blended with water when we were to part.

Suddenly o’er the stream we heard a pipa sound;

I forgot to go home and the guest stood spellbound.

We followed where the music led to find the player,

But heard the pipa stop and no music in the air.

We moved our boat towards the one whence came the strain,

Brought back the lamp, asked for more wine and drank again.

Repeatedly we called for the fair player till

She came, her face half hidden behind a pipa still.

She turned the pegs and tested twice or thrice each string;

Before a tune was played we heard her feelings sing.

Each string she plucked, each note she struck with pathos strong,

All seemed to say she’d missed her dreams all her life long.

Head bent, she played with unpremeditated art

On and on to pour out her overflowing heart.

She lightly plucked, slowly stroked and twanged loud

The song of Green Waist after that of Rainbow Cloud.

The thick strings loudly thrummed like the pattering rain;

The fine strings softly tinkled in a murmuring strain.

When mingling loud and soft notes were together played,

You heard large and small pearls cascade on plate of jade.

Now you heard orioles warble in flowery land,

Then a sobbing stream run along a beach of sand.

But the stream seemed so cold as to tighten the string;

From tightened strings no more sound could be heard to sing.

Still we heard hidden grief and vague regret concealed;

Then music expressed far less than silence revealed.

Suddenly we heard water burst a silver jar,

And the clash of spears and sabres come from afar.

She made a central sweep when the music was ending;

The four strings made one sound, as of silk one was rending.

Silence reigned left and right of the boat, east and west;

We saw but autumn moon white in the river’s breast.

She slid the plectrum pensively between the strings,

Smoothed out her dress and rose with a composed mien.

“I spent,” she said, “in the capital my early springs,

Where at the foot of Mount of Toads my home had been.

At thirteen I learned on the pipa how to play,

And my name was among the primas of the day.

I won my master’s admiration for my skill;

My beauty was envied by songstresses fair still.

The gallant young men vied to shower gifts on me;

One tune played, countless silk rolls were given with glee.

Beating time, I let silver comb and pin drop down,

And spilt-out wine oft stained my blood-red silken gown.

From year to year I laughed my joyous life away

On moonlit autumn night as windy vernal day.

My younger brother left for war, and died my maid;

Days passed, nights came, and my beauty began to fade.

Fewer and fewer were cabs and steeds at my door;

I married a smug merchant when my prime was o’er.

The merchant cared for money much more than for me;

One month ago he went away to purchase tea,

Leaving his lonely wife alone in empty boat;

Shrouded in moonlight, on the cold river I float.

Deep in the night I dreamed of happy bygone years,

And woke to find my rouged face crisscrossed with tears.”

Listening to her sad music, I sighed with pain;

Hearing her story, I sighed again and again.

Both of us in misfortune go from shore to shore.

Meeting now, need we have known each other before?

“I was banished from the capital last year

To live degraded and ill in this city here.

The city’s too remote to know melodious song,

So I have never heard music all the year long.

I dwell by riverbank on a low and damp ground

In a house with wild reeds and stunted bamboos around.

What is here to be heard from daybreak till nightfall

But gibbon’s cry and cuckoo’s homeward-going call?

By blooming riverside and under autumn moon

I’ve often taken wine up and drunk it alone.

Though I have mountain songs and village pipes to hear,

Yet they are crude and strident and grate on the ear.

Listening to you playing on pipa tonight,

With your music divine e’en my hearing seems bright.

Will you sit down and play for us a tune once more?

I’ll write for you an ode to the pipa I adore.”

Touched by what I said, the player stood for long,

Then sat down, tore at strings and played another song.

So sad, so drear, so different, it moved us deep;

Those who heard it hid their face and began to weep.

Of all the company at table who wept most?

It was none other than the exiled blue-robed host.

《琵琶行》是唐代诗人白居易创作的长篇叙事诗。此诗通过对琵琶女高超弹奏技艺和她不幸经历的描述,揭露了封建社会官僚腐败、民生凋敝、人才埋没等不合理现象,表达了诗人对琵琶女的深切同情,也抒发了诗人对自己无辜被贬的愤懑之情。全诗叙事与抒情紧密结合,塑造出完整鲜明的人物形象;语言流转匀称,优美和谐,特别是描绘琵琶的演奏,比喻贴切,化虚为实,呈现出鲜明的音乐形象。

“Song of a Pipa Player” is a long narrative poem written by Bai Juyi, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. Through the description of the pipa girl’s excellent playing skills and her unfortunate experiences, the poem exposes the unreasonable phenomena of bureaucratic corruption, depleted livelihood and buried talents in feudal society, expressing the poet’s deep sympathy for the pipa girl and his resentment at his innocent deportation. The poem’s narrative and lyricism are closely integrated, creating a complete and distinctive characterization; the language is well-proportioned, beautiful and harmonious, especially in the depiction of the pipa’s performance, with apt metaphors, turning the imaginary into the real, presenting a distinctive musical image.

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