Tao Yuanming Poems: Wine-drinking Song  (XVI) – 陶渊明《饮酒  (二十首其十六)》

饮酒
 (二十首其十六)

少年罕人事,游好在六经[1]。

行行[2]向不惑[3],淹留[4]遂无成。

竟[5]抱固穷节,饥寒饱所更[6]。

弊庐交悲风,荒草没前庭。

披褐守长夜,晨鸡不肯鸣。

孟公[7]不在兹,终以翳[8]吾情。

“少年罕人事,游好在六经”指自小就很少有世俗上的交往,一心爱好六经,指出诗人少年时就颇有壮志。然而老年一事无成,一生抱定固穷之节,饱受饥寒之苦。“敝庐交悲风,荒草没前庭”指破旧茅屋风吹凄厉,荒草已经将前院掩没,尽显诗人凄凉悲伤之感。但在诗人看来这并不是最难过的。“孟公不在兹,终以翳吾情”指没有知音在身边,没有人可以听我倾诉衷情,这才是诗人最悲哀的事情。

注释:

[1]六经:即六种儒家经典,指《诗》《书》《易》《礼》《乐》《春秋》。这里泛指古代的经籍。

[2]行行:一直走,比喻时间不停地流逝。

[3]不惑:四十岁。

[4]淹留:长时间停留,指退隐一事无成。

[5]竟:最后,最终。

[6]更:经历,经受。

[7]孟公:东汉刘龚,字孟公。皇甫谧《高士传》载:“张仲蔚,平陵人。好诗赋,常居贫素,所处蓬蒿没人。时人莫识,惟刘龚知之。”陶渊明在这里是以张仲蔚自比,慨叹没有像刘龚那样的知音。

[8]翳:遮蔽,隐没。

Wine-drinking Song
 (XVI)

While young, I had social relation cold,

And only indulged in six classics old.

Now I am nearly forty years of age,

But life does not turn for me a new page.

I did not fear all my life to be poor.

Could I suffer from hunger any more?

My wretched cottage hears grievous wind pass;

My front yard buried in weeds and grass.

I don my coat to stay the long, long night;

My cock won’t crow to welcome morning light.

If ancient connoisseur Meng were near me,

To tell him what I feel I would be free.

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