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068 韓愈 謁衡嶽廟遂宿嶽寺題門樓 translation: An Inscription on the Gatehouse after Paying Respects at the Mt Heng Shrine and Lodging at the Mountain Temple, by Hán Yù

This is a very rough translation and annotation of the poem 謁衡嶽廟遂宿嶽寺題門樓 (Yè Héngyuè Miào Suì Sù Yuè Sì Tí Ménlóu), ‘An Inscription on the Gatehouse after Paying Respects at the Mt Heng Shrine and Lodging at the Mountain Temple’, by the Tang Dynasty Chinese poet 韓愈 (Hán Yù).

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謁衡嶽廟遂宿嶽寺題門樓 Yè Héngyuè Miào Suì Sù Yuè Sì Tí Ménlóu [visit] [Heng] [mountain] [shrine] [then] [stay night] [mountain] [temple] [inscribe] [gate] [tower] An Inscription on the Gatehouse after Paying Respects at the Mt Heng Shrine and Lodging at the Mountain Temple

五嶽祭秩皆三公, Wǔyuè jì zhì jiē sāngōng, [five] [peak] [honourary service] [order] [all] [three] [lord] Services honouring the five peaks – all are held by the Three Ducal Ministers; (三公 was an official rank.)

四方環鎮嵩當中。 sìfāng huán zhèn Sōng dāngzhōng. [four] [direction] [surround] [press down] [Song] [at] [middle] on four sides surrounded is Mt Song at the centre.

火維地荒足妖怪, Huǒ wéi dì huāng zú yāoguài, [fire] [link] [ground] [barren] [full] [goblin] [devil] Signified by Fire, this land is barren and full of devils;

天假神柄專其雄。 tiān jiǎ shén bǐng zhuān qí xióng. [heaven] [bestow] [spirit] [power] [rule] [its] [might] Heaven bestowed in deities the power to rule over its might.

噴雲泄霧藏半腹, Pēn yún xiè wù cáng bàn fù, [spray] [cloud] [leak] [mist] [conceal] [half] [belly] Frothing clouds and spilling mists conceal half its face;

雖有絕頂誰能窮。 suī yǒu jué dǐng shéi néng qióng. [although] [have] [cut] [top] [who] [can] [exhaust] It has a cragged peak, yet who can surmount it?

我來正逢秋雨節, Wǒ lái zhèng féng qiūyǔ jié, [I] [come] [exact] [encounter] [autumn] [rain] [season] My arrival encounters the season of autumns rains;

陰氣晦昧無清風。 yīn qì huì mèi wú qīngfēng. [cloudy] [vapour] [dark] [dark] [not have] [clear] [breeze] the cloudy air is dark and gloomy – there is not a clean breeze.

潛心默禱若有應, Qiánxīn mòdǎo ruò yǒu yīng, [submerge] [heart] [silent] [pray] [if] [have] [response] With focused mind one silently prays, and if there is a response,

豈非正直能感通。 qǐfēi zhèngzhí néng gǎn tōng. [how] [not] [right] [value] [can] [feel] [communicate] is it not in righteousness one feels communication?

須臾靜掃眾峰出, Xūyú jìng sǎo zhòng fēng chū, [must] [moment] [quiet] [sweep] [numerous] [peak] [exit] In a moment, a clear breeze sweeps through and multitude peaks emerge;

仰見突兀撐青空。 yǎng jiàn túwù chēng qīngkōng. [raise head] [see] [dash] [rise] [prop] [blue] [space] one raises one's head to view them towering, bearing a blue void.

紫蓋連延接天柱, Zǐgài lián yán jiē Tiānzhù, [purple] [cover] [link] [delay] [connect] [heaven] [pillar] Violet Crown Peak spans across to join Heavenly Pillar Peak; (紫蓋 and 天柱 are two of the five peaks of 衡山.)

石廩騰擲堆祝融。 Shílǐn téng zhì duī Zhùróng. [stone] [store] [soar] [toss] [pile] [God of Fire][] Stone Store Peak soars towering over Fire God Peak. (As above, 石廩 and 祝融 are two of the five peaks of 衡山.)

森然魄動下馬拜, Sēnrán pò dòng xiàmǎ bài, [awe-inspiring][] [soul] [move] [down] [horse] [pay respect] In reverence one's soul is moved – one dismounts to pay respect;

松柏一徑趨靈宮。 sōngbǎi yī jìng qū líng gōng. [pine] [cypress] [one] [path] [towards] [spirit] [palace] pines and cypress line the way to Mt Heng Temple. (靈宮 is the temple on Mt Heng.)

粉墻丹柱動光彩, Fěnqiáng dān zhù dòng guāngcǎi, [powder] [wall] [red] [pillar] [move] [ray] [colour] Painted walls and red pillars scatter a radiance;

鬼物圖畫填青紅。 guǐwù túhuà tián qīng hóng. [monster] [thing] [image] [painting] [fill] [green] [red] images of creatures cover them in colour.

升階傴僂薦脯酒, Shēng jiē yǔlóu jiàn pú jiǔ, [ascend] [stairs] [hunchbacked][] [offer] [meat] [wine] One ascends the stairs stooping to off meat and wine,

欲以菲薄明其衷。 yù yǐ fěibó míng qí zhōng. [want] [with] [unworthy] [meagre] [clear] [its] [feeling] wanting with these meagre things to show one's feeling.

廟令老人識神意, Miàolìng lǎorén shí shényì, [shrine] [command] [old] [person] [realise] [spirit] [meaning] The head of the shrine, an old man, understands the will of the deities;

睢盱偵伺能鞠躬。 suī xū zhēn cì néng jūgōng. [stare] [anxious] [detect] [examine] [can] [bow] [bow] his eyes wide and piercing, his body flexible.

手持杯珓導我擲, Shǒuchí bēi jiào dǎo wǒ zhì, [hand] [hold] [cup] [oracle] [instruct] [me] [throw] Holding the oracles, he leads me in throwing them; (杯珓 is a crescent-shaped object used for divination.)

雲此最吉余難同。 yún cǐ zuì jí yú nán tóng. [say] [this] [most] [auspicious] [excess] [difficult] [same] he says this was most auspicious and difficult to exceed.

竄逐蠻荒幸不死, Cuàn zhú mánhuāng xìng bùsǐ, [exile] [alone] [barbarian] [barren] [lucky] [not] [die] Exiled alone to the wilderness, one is lucky not to have died;

衣食才足甘長終。 yīshí cái zú gān zhǎng zhōng. [clothing] [food] [just] [enough] [willing] [grow] [end] with clothing and food enough, one is willing to grow old to the end.

侯王將相望久絕, Hóu wáng jiàng xiàng wàng jiǔ jué, [noble] [king] [general] [prime-minister] [forget] [long time] [absolute] [One's hopes of being] nobility or royalty, a general or prime-minister – forgotten and long cut off;

神縱欲福難為功。 shén zòng yù fú nánwéi gōng. [spirit] [even if] [want] [bless] [difficult] [be] [success] even if the deities were to bless it on one, it would be hard to achieve.

夜投佛寺上高閣, Yè tóu fósì shàng gāogé, [night] [seek refuge] [Buddhist] [temple] [ascend] [high] [pavilion] At night one lodges at the Buddhist temple, ascending the high pavilion;

星月掩映雲瞳朧。 xīng yuè yǎnyìng yún tóng lóng. [star] [moon] [cover] [shine] [cloud] [dim moonlight][] The stars and moon are obscured in their shining, the clouds in dim moonlight.

猿鳴鐘動不知曙, Yuán míng zhōng dòng bùzhī shǔ, [ape] [call] [bell] [move] [not] [know] [dawn] As apes holler and bells ring, one is unaware of dawn;

杲杲寒日生於東。 gǎo gǎo hán rìshēng yú dōng. [high] [high] [cold] [sun] [born] [at] [east] a high, cold sun is born in the east.

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