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Classical Chinese

迢迢牽牛星 translation - So Remote, the Draught Ox Star

This is a translation of the Chinese poem 迢迢牽牛星 (Tiáo tiáo qiān niú xīng), the tenth poem in the Han dynasty collection 古詩十九首 (Nineteen Old Poems).

迢迢牽牛星 tiáo tiáo qiān niú xīng [remote] [remote] [pull] [ox] [star] So remote, the Draught Ox star,

皎皎河漢女 jiǎo jiǎo hé hàn nǚ [bright] [bright] [river] [_Han_] [girl] While_ the Weaver Girl _shines brightly in the Milky Way.

纖纖擢素手 xiān xiān zhuó sù shǒu [delicate] [delicate] [pull up] [pale] [hand] Delicately she lifts a pale hand,

札札弄機杼 zhá zhá nòng jī zhù [clack] [clack] [handle] [machine] [shuttle] clack, clack goes the shuttle of her loom.

終日不成章 zhōng rì bù chéng zhāng [end] [day] [not] [finish] [section] All day long without finish,

泣涕零如雨 qì tì líng rú yǔ [sob] [tears][] [like] [rain] she sobs and sheds tears like rain.

河漢清且淺 hé hàn qīng qiě qiǎn [river] [Han] [clear] [and] [shallow] The Milky Way is clear and shallow;

相去復幾許 xiāng qù fù jǐ xǔ [each other] [remove] [go back] [almost] [permit] they are but a tiny distance from each other,

盈盈一水間 yíng yíng yī shuǐ jiān [full] [full] [one] [water] [space] at most the width of a stream,

脈脈不得語 mò mò bù dé yǔ [affection][] [not] [get] [speech] yet their affection can never speak.

Relevant books

Series: Nineteen Old Poems

  1. 行行重行行 Translation - Marching On and On
  2. 青青河畔草 Translation - Green, Green, Grass on the Riverbank
  3. 青青陵上柏 translation - Green, Green, Cypress on the Mound
  4. 今日良宴會 translation – Today we hold a splendid feast
  5. 西北有高樓 translation - A Tall Tower in the Northwest
  6. 涉江采芙蓉 translation - Crossing the River to Pick Hibiscus
  7. 明月皎夜光 translation - The Clear Moon Shines Brightly by Night
  8. 冉冉孤生竹 translation - Frail Bamboo Growing Alone
  9. 庭中有奇樹 translation - In the Courtyard there is a Strange Tree
  10. 迢迢牽牛星 translation - So Remote, the Draught Ox Star (this article)
  11. 迴車駕言邁 translation - I turn the carriage, pull the reins and set off
  12. 東城高且長 translation - The Eastern Wall is High and Long
  13. 驅車上東門 translation - I Ride My Chariot from the Upper East Gate
  14. 去者日以疏 translation - The Departed Are More Distant Daily
  15. 生年不滿百 translation - The Years of Life Reach Not One Hundred
  16. 凜凜歲云暮 translation - Bitterly Cold, the Year Ends
  17. 孟冬寒氣至 translation - In the First Month of Winter, Cold Air Arrives