This is a translation of the Chinese poem 冉冉孤生竹, the eighth poem in the Han dynasty collection 古詩十九 (Nineteen Old Poems).
冉冉孤生竹 rǎn rǎn gū shēng zhú [frail] [frail] [alone] [grow] [bamboo] Frail bamboo growing alone,
結根泰山阿 jié gēn tài shān ā [tie] [root] [Tai] [mountain] [_a_] tying its roots into the slopes of Mt. Tai.
與君為新婚 yǔ jūn wèi xīn hūn [to] [you] [be] [new] [marry] I am newly wed to you, sir;
兔絲附女蘿 tù sī fù nǚ luó [vine] [attach] [moss] a vine clinging to moss.
兔絲生有時 tù sī shēng yǒu shí [vine] [grow] [has] [season] A vine grows in its season,
夫婦會有宜 fū fù huì yǒu yi [husband] [wife] [union] [has] [proper] and the union of marriage has its moment.
千里遠結婚 qiān lǐ yuǎn jié hūn [thousand] [_li_] [far] [tie] [marry] One thousand li is a long distance for marriage,
悠悠隔山陂 yōu yōu gé shān pō [long] [long] [separate] [mountain] [rugged] far away, separated by mountain slopes.
思君令人老 sī jūn lìng rén lǎo [think of] [you] [make] [person] [old] Thinking of you makes me grow old;
軒車來何遲 xuān chē lái hé chí [carriage] [chariot] [come] [how] [late] how slow is your carriage to arrive!
傷彼蕙蘭花 shāng bǐ huì lán huā [hurt] [those] [fragrant orchid] I am saddened by those fragrant orchids,
含英揚光輝 hán yīng yáng guāng huī [contain] [glory] [scatter] [ray] [bright] full of glory, scattering brilliant light.
過時而不采 guò shí ér bù cǎi [pass] [season] [yet] [not] [pick] If the season passes and they are not picked,
將隨秋草萎 jiāng suí qiū cǎo wēi [will] [follow] [autumn] [grass] [wither] they will wither with the autumn grasses.
君亮執高節 jūn liàng zhí gāo jié [you] [light] [grasp] [high] [moral integrity] If you truly hold such high moral standards,
賤妾亦何為 jiàn qiè yì hé wèi [lowly] [concubine] [likewise] [what] [do] what is your humble servant to do?
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
- 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 (this article)
- 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