Cheng Hsien: Kings and Emperors ~ 郑燮·《瑞鹤仙·帝王家》 with English Translations

郑板桥(1693~1765),即郑燮,字克柔,号板桥,江苏兴化人,康熙秀才、雍正举人、乾隆进士。客居扬州,以卖画为生。为”扬州八怪”之一。

郑燮·《瑞鹤仙·帝王家》

山河同敝屣,

羡废子传贤,

陶唐妙理。

禹汤无算计,

把乾坤重担,

儿孙挑起。

千祀万祀,

淘多少英雄闲气。

到如今故纸纷纷,

何限秦头楚尾。

休倚,

几家宦寺,

几遍藩王、

戚里。

东扶西倒,

偏重处,

成乖戾。

待他年一片宫墙瓦砾,

荷叶乱翻秋水。

剩野人破舫斜阳,

闲收菰米。

Tune: Jui-ho hsien

(An Immortal on an Auspicious Crane)

Title: Kings and Emperors

Cheng Hsien

Mountains and rivers are like discarded shoes:

How I envy the sage ideal of Emperor Yao

Who passed over his son, ceded his throne to the worthiest man.

And Emperor Yü and T’ang who hatched no schemes,

But let their sons and grandsons

Bear the burden of the universe.

In a thousand generations, a myriad ages,

How many heroes have been wasted—

Now only reams of old paper!

Why regret the founding of Ch’in upon the heels of Ch’u!

Rely on no one!

Neither on enunuchs,

Nor on princes,

Nor on royal kin!

Prop up the east, and the west will fall;

Lean heavily to one side,

And there is friction and quarrel.

In other years, palace walls will be broken bits of tile,

Lotus leaves will flap about on autumn waters;

There remains a rustic on a tattered boat in the slanting sun,

Leisurely picking the wild rice.

(Jan and Yvonne Walls 译)

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