琵琶行(白居易)The Pipa Tune(Bai Ju-Yi, 772-846 AD, China) 浔阳江头夜送客，枫叶荻花秋瑟瑟。主人下马客在船，举酒欲饮无管絃。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。At night by the Xunyang River to a guest we bid farewell.With autumn chills maple leaves and reed flowers fell.On the boat was the guest, down the horse came the host.Alas there was no music; still we raised cups for a toast.Drunk without joy, in sadness we had to say goodbye.The river was misty then, reflecting the moon up high.Suddenly from the water came the sound of pipa.The host forgot to return and the guest didn’t depart.
寻声暗问弹者谁，琵琶声停欲语迟。移船相近邀相见，添酒回灯重开宴。千呼万唤始出来，犹抱琵琶半遮面。转轴拨絃三两声，未成曲调先有情。Towards the sound in the dark we inquired about the player.The playing stopped, but the player hesitated to answer.To Ask the musician to join us, we moved our boat closer.Adding wine and brightening lamps, we resumed the dinner.Only after many goads did she come out of her place,Still holding the pipa that blocked half of her face.She plucked the strings and turned the pegs to tune.Even before the music started, we had already felt boon.
絃絃掩抑声声思，似诉平生不得志。低眉信手续续弹，说尽心中无限事。轻拢慢撚抹复挑，初为霓裳后六么。大絃嘈嘈如急雨，小絃切切如私语。Her notes were suppressive but full of sentiment,As if she was voicing her lifelong disappointment.She lowered her head, continued to play at will,Telling endless stories that her heart could not fulfill.Strings were picked and plucked, bent with vibrato.First was Rainbow Dress, then Minor Sixth to follow.The bass strings rumbled like thunderstorms pelting.The treble strings rustled like lovers whispering.
嘈嘈切切错杂弹，大珠小珠落玉盘。间关莺语花底滑，幽咽泉流水下滩。水泉冷涩絃凝绝，凝绝不通声暂歇。别有幽愁暗恨生，此时无声胜有声。Rumbling and rustling interleaved at a fast rate,Like large and small pearls falling on a jade plate.A warbling canary glided underneath a blossom.An underground brook purled out of a rock bottom.The brook became frozen, as the strings diminished.Decrescendo continued until all sounds perished.Yet a dark and gloomy meditation had grown.At this moment silence was better than any tone.
银瓶乍破水浆迸，铁骑突出刀枪鸣。曲终收拨当心画，四絃一声如裂帛。东舟西舫悄无言，唯见江心秋月白。沉吟放拨插絃中，整顿衣裳起敛容。Suddenly, a silver vase bursted, splashing water everywhere.Armored knights charged out, clashing swords here and there.To end the piece she drew the pick to strum a chord.Like tearing silk, four strings resonated in concord.Neighboring boats east and west made a silent night scene.Reflected by the river, only the autumn moon was seen.She inserted the pick between strings contemplatively,Straightened her clothes, and stood up gracefully.
自言本是京城女，家在虾蟆陵下住。十三学得琵琶成，名属教坊第一部。曲罢曾教善才伏，妆成每被秋娘妒。五陵年少争缠头，一曲红绡不知数。She said that the capital was originally her home.She lived in the neighborhood of the Xiama Tomb.An accomplished pipa player at the age of thirteen,She was with the music school and on the elite team.Her playing was highly praised by the pipa masters.Her looks were the envy of the pretty paramours.Wealthy young men vied in paying her patronage:Countless silk rolls for just one appearance on stage.
钿头银篦击节碎，血色罗裙翻酒污。今年欢笑复明年，秋月春风等闲度。弟走从军阿姨死，暮去朝来颜色故。门前冷落鞍马稀，老大嫁作商人妇。To keep the beats she broke her silver trinket.Spilt wine stained her laced silk skirt scarlet.Over years she indulged herself in pleasure and feast.Autumn moon and spring breeze were noticed the least.Then her brother enlisted and her aunt was deceased.As time went on her beauty gradually evanesced.Fewer and fewer carriages stopped by her door.Finally she married a merchant when youth no more.
商人重利轻别离，前月浮梁买茶去。去来江口守空船，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。The merchant was profit-minded, always on the road.He went to Fuliang to buy tea two months ago.During his absence she waited by the empty boat,Surrounded by cold water keeping the moon afloat.She suddenly dreamed of her youthhood late at night.The tears messed up her makeup as she cried.The music of her pipa already caused me to sigh.Hearing her pensive story now almost makes me cry.
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。In this uncaring world we are two wretched drifters,Treasuring this encounter even though we’re strangers.Since last year I have quitted and left the capital hill.Being demoted to Xunyang, I am stranded and ill.As far as music is concerned, Xunyang is barbaric.Throughout the year I hear no wind and strings music.I live by the Peng River where it is low and damp.Yellow reeds and bamboos grow all around the camp.
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，呕哑嘲哳难为听。今夜闻君琵琶语，如听仙乐耳暂明。What sound do I hear from dawn till evenfall?Cuckoos’ wailing and gibbons’ scream – that’s all.On a blossom day in spring or a full moon night in fall,I often take out the wine by myself and drink it all.How about the rustic song and the homemade reed?Screeching and shrieking, hard to listen indeed.I listened to your pipa playing just now.It was magic music only a fairy knows how.
莫辞更坐弹一曲，为君翻作琵琶行。感我此言良久立，却坐促絃絃转急。凄凄不似向前声，满座重闻皆掩泣。座中泣下谁最多，江州司马青衫湿。Please don’t refuse – play us one more tune.I’ll compose a poem for you called the Pipa Tune.Moved by my words, she stands there for a while,Then sits down and starts to play a presto style.The profound sadness in the music, unlike previous sound,Brings tears to the eyes of everyone sitting around.Among all the people in the audience who weeps the most?The Commander of Jiangzhou has his coat soaked almost.