This is a translation of the poem 今日良宴會 from 古詩十九首 (Nineteen Old Poems)”).
今日良宴會 jīn rì liáng yàn huì [today] [day] [excellent] [banquet] [gather] Today we hold a splendid feast,
歡樂難具陳 huān lè nán jù chén [joy] [happiness] [hard] [ability] [narrate] a joy that is inexpressible.
彈箏奮逸響 dàn zhēng fèn yì xiǎng [strum] [zither] [exert] [leisurely] [sound] Strum the zither and break out in free song,
新聲妙入神 xīn shēng miào rù shén [new] [sound] [wonderful] [enter] [spirit] the new sound is wonderful and enthralling.
令德唱高言 lìng dé chàng gāo yán [order] [goodness] [sing] [high] [words] Have the talented sing fine lyrics;
識曲聽其真 shi qū tīng qí zhēn [know] [song] [listen] [their] [truth] those who know music will understand their truth.
齊心同所願 qí xīn tóng suǒ yuàn [identical] [heart] [same] [that which is] [desire] With one heart we have the same desires,
含意俱未申 hán yì jù wèi shēn [meaning] [idea] [entirely] [not yet] [explain] although the thoughts we hold remain unvoiced.
人生寄一世 rén shēng jì yī shì [man] [life] [live] [one] [generation] A man’s life lasts but one generation,
奄忽若飆塵 yǎn hū ruò biāo chén [suddenly] [suddenly] [like] [whirlwind] [dust] Quickly swirling by like dust.
何不策高足 hé bù cè gāo zú [why] [not] [control] [high] [feet] Why not whip-up your highest horses,
先据要路津 xiān jù yào lù jīn [first] [seize] [important] [road] [ford] and be the first to seize the roads and fords?
無為守窮賤 wú wéi shǒu qióng jiàn [not have] [for] [keep] [poor] [lowly] There is nothing to gain in staying poor and worthless,
轗軻長若辛 kǎn kē cháng ruò xīn [rough life] [long] [like] [tired] with a rough life, long feeling tired.
今日良宴會 from the Nineteen Old Poems (Han dynasty 207BCE – 220CE)
Series: Nineteen Old Poems
- 行行重行行 Translation - Marching On and On
- 青青河畔草 Translation - Green, Green, Grass on the Riverbank
- 青青陵上柏 translation - Green, Green, Cypress on the Mound
- 今日良宴會 translation – Today we hold a splendid feast (this article)
- 西北有高樓 translation - A Tall Tower in the Northwest
- 涉江采芙蓉 translation - Crossing the River to Pick Hibiscus
- 明月皎夜光 translation - The Clear Moon Shines Brightly by Night
- 冉冉孤生竹 translation - Frail Bamboo Growing Alone
- 庭中有奇樹 translation - In the Courtyard there is a Strange Tree
- 迢迢牽牛星 translation - So Remote, the Draught Ox Star
- 迴車駕言邁 translation - I turn the carriage, pull the reins and set off
- 東城高且長 translation - The Eastern Wall is High and Long
- 驅車上東門 translation - I Ride My Chariot from the Upper East Gate
- 去者日以疏 translation - The Departed Are More Distant Daily
- 生年不滿百 translation - The Years of Life Reach Not One Hundred
- 凜凜歲云暮 translation - Bitterly Cold, the Year Ends
- 孟冬寒氣至 translation - In the First Month of Winter, Cold Air Arrives