Tao Yuanming Poems: Begging for Food – 陶渊明《乞食》

乞食

饥来驱我去,不知竟何之[1]!

行行至斯里,叩门拙言辞[2]。

主人解余意,遗赠岂虚来[3]。

谈话终日夕,觞至辄[4]倾杯。

情欣新知欢,言咏遂赋诗。

感子[5]漂母惠[6],愧我非韩才。

衔戢[7]知何谢,冥报[8]以相贻。

关于这首诗的创作时间有两种说法,一是公元385年诗人21岁,与朋友聚会饮酒赋诗;二是公元426年诗人62岁,根据乞食的真实经历,写下此诗。这首诗不仅比较真实地反映了陶渊明晚年贫困生活的一个侧面,也真实地反映出陶渊明朴拙直率的个性。“乞食”在齐人不食嗟来之食的美谈中,是令人脸红耳热的字眼,诗人写了出来,并将诗中的启示意义超越了乞食一事。“饥来驱我去,不知竟何之”说明诗人是因本能的需求迫使其出门求食,并将诗人乞食时的心态、窘相刻画得惟妙惟肖。“新交好友心欢畅”表达诗人因结识到心地善良的主人而转忧为喜,其意是颂扬那些用真情和友善温暖他人的老百姓们。“死后报答君恩惠”表达诗人高尚的人格,知恩图报,饮水不忘挖井人,这是中华民族精神中的传统美德。

注释:

[1]何之:去哪里。

[2]拙言辞:拙于言辞,不知该说些什么。

[3]岂虚来:怎么能让你白跑一趟。

[4]辄(zhé):就。

[5]子:对人的尊称。

[6]漂母惠:像漂母那样的恩惠。漂母,河边洗衣的妇女。《史记·淮阴侯列传》:韩信穷苦的时候在河边钓鱼,洗衣服的妇人见他可怜,每次给他带来一些吃的,韩信立誓将来一定要报答这位老妇。在韩信灭项羽功成名就之后,韩信故地重游,赐老妇以千金。

[7]衔戢(jí):深藏于心,表示由衷的感谢。衔:马勒衔于口不会掉落,比喻永不忘。戢:收藏。

[8]冥报:死后在阴间报答。

Begging for Food

Driven by hunger, I go out

But I do not know whereabout.

I plod on and on till this land;

I knock and speechless there I stand.

The host, seeing my hidden pain,

Gives me food lest I’d come in vain.

We talk until the sun’s decline;

We empty cup on cup of wine.

I’m glad to make acquaintance new;

I write this verse as it is due.

I can’t repay like Han Xin[1] fed

By a washerwoman her bread.

How to express my hearty thanks?

In underworld on griefless banks[2].

注释:

[1]While young, Han Xin (2nd century B.C.) was fed by a washerwoman. When he became a general, he repaid her kindness with gold.

[2]It was believed in ancient China that there was a Griefless River in the underworld.

《乞食》是晋宋之际大诗人陶渊明创作的一首五言诗。此诗记叙了诗人一次由于饥饿而出门借贷,并得人遗赠、留饮的活动,反映了诗人晚年贫困生活的一个侧面,表现了诗人朴拙真率的个性。前四句通过具体的动作和内心状态,形象地传达出诗人复杂的心情;中间六句写受到主人的盛情款待,由“谈谐”而“情欣”,由酣饮而赋诗的情景;末四句对主人表示感激之情,写得悲愤而寄慨遥深。全诗语言平淡无华,却蕴发着人性美丽的光辉。

“Begging for Food” is a five-line poem written by Tao Yuanming, a great poet of the Jin and Song dynasties. The poem recounts a time when the poet went out to borrow money due to hunger, and received a gift and a drink from someone. The first four lines convey the poet’s complex feelings through specific actions and inner states; the middle six lines are about the generous hospitality of the host, from “harmonious talk” to “happy feelings”, from drinking to poetry; the last four lines express gratitude to the host, written with The last four stanzas express gratitude to the host, and are written with sorrow and indignation and deep emotion. The language of the poem is plain and unadorned, but it contains the beautiful glory of human nature.

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