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.
Sù Jiǔ Xiān Shān
[lodge] [nine] [immortal] [mountain]
Lodging on Nine Immortals Mountain
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;
yī qù kōngshān wǔbǎi chūn.
[once] [go] [empty] [mountain] [five] [hundred] [spring]
they left the empty mountains for five hundred springs.
Yù shì jīntáng yú hàn shì,
[jade] [room] [gold] [hall] [surplus] [man]
In jade rooms and gold halls those men remain;
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.
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;
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.
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;
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
- 宿九仙山 – 百度百科
- An Anthology of Chinese Literature: Beginnings to 1911 – Stephen Owen
- Drifting Among Rivers and Lakes: Southern Song Dynasty Poetry
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