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蘇軾 宿九仙山 translation: Lodging on Nine Immortals Mountain, by Su Shi


This is a translation and annotation of the poem 宿九仙山 (Sù Jiǔ Xiān Shān), ‘Lodging on Nine Immortals Mountain’, by the Song Dynasty Chinese poet 蘇軾 (Sū Shì).

As always, this is only my beginner’s attempt at an annotation. If you have any suggestions, please share them in the comments at the end of the page.

Crazy moon - Spice Yu

 

宿九仙山
Sù Jiǔ Xiān Shān
[lodge] [nine] [immortal] [mountain]
Lodging on Nine Immortals Mountain

 

風流王謝古仙真,
Fēngliú Wáng Xiè gǔ xiān zhēn,
[distinguished and accomplished][] [Wang] [Xie] [old] [ascend to immortality][]
The distinguished and accomplished Wang and Xie long ago became immortals;

一去空山五百春。
yī qù kōngshān wǔbǎi chūn.
[once] [go] [empty] [mountain] [five] [hundred] [spring]
they left the empty mountains for five hundred springs.

玉室金堂馀漢士,
Yù shì jīntáng yú hàn shì,
[jade] [room] [gold] [hall] [surplus] [man][]
In jade rooms and gold halls those men remain;

桃花流水失秦人。
táohuā liúshuǐ shī Qín rén.
[peach] [flower] [flow] [water] [lose] [Qin] [person]
In the peach blossom spring‘s flowing water those people of Qin were lost.

困眠一榻香凝帳,
Kùn mián yī tà xiāng níng zhàng,
[sleepy] [sleep] [one] [bed] [fragrant] [concentrate] [veil]
Exhausted one goes to bed, heavy fragrance accumulates in the veils;

夢繞千巖冷逼身。
mèng rào qiān yán lěng bī shēn.
[dream] [coil] [thousand] [peak] [cold] [force] [body]
one dreams of traveling amongst a thousand peaks, cold pressing on one’s body.

夜半老僧呼客起,
Yèbàn lǎo sēng hū kè qǐ,
[night] [half] [old] [monk] [call] [guest] [rise]
In the middle of the night the old monks calls one to rise;

雲峰缺處湧冰輪。
yún fēng quē chù yǒng bīnglún.
[cloud] [peak] [lack] [place] [rush forth] [ice] [disk]
where clouds like mountain peaks are sparse, the ice-disk moon bursts forth.

 

If you have any suggestions, please share them in the comments below.

Sources and further reading