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Classical Chinese

102 李白 送友人 translation: Seeing Off a Friend, by Li Bai

This is a translation and annotation of the poem 送友人 (Sòng Yǒurén), “Seeing Off a Friend”, by the Tang dynasty poet 李白 (Li Bai). The poem is #102 in the collection [300 Tang Poems](/china/classical/300-tang-poems/” rel="contents “唐詩三百首”), and is also known by its first line: 青山橫北郭 (Qīng Shān Héng Běi Guō).

送友人 Sòng Yǒurén [see off] [friend] [person] Seeing Off a Friend

青山橫北郭, Qīng shān héng běi guō, [blue-green] [mountain] [across] [north] [city wall] Blue-green mountains stretch beyond the northern wall;

白水繞東城。 bái shuǐ rào dōngchéng. [clear] [water] [coil] [east] [wall] clear water twists to the east of the city.

此地一為別, Cǐdì yī wèi bié, [this] [place] [-] [to] [separate] We are here to separate;

孤蓬萬里征。 gū péng wàn li zhēng. [lone] [asteracae] [ten thousand] [li] [journey] a lone dandelion on a thousand mile journey.

浮雲游子意, Fúyún yóuzǐ yì, [float] [cloud] [roam] [person] [thoughts] Like drifting clouds are the traveler's thoughts;

落日故人情。 luòrì gùrén qíng. [set] [sun] [old friend][] [feeling] like the setting sun are the feelings of friendship.

揮手自茲去, Huīshǒu zì zī qù, [wave] [hand] [from] [here] [go] We wave as we leave this place;

蕭蕭班馬鳴。 xiāoxiāo bān mǎ míng. [call] [call] [separate] [horse] [call] the whinnying of a horse from its herd.

If you notice a mistake or disagree with the translation, please comment below to improve this resource.


The second line actually repeats “wall” using a different word (城), but the repetition seems clumsy in English.

The character 一 in the third line is there to add emphasis. Most likely it is used as a filler word to keep the number of syllables in each line regular.

孤蓬 in the fourth line refers to a dried up plant (something from the Asteracae family, to be specific) blowing freely in the wind.

蕭蕭 is often used in classical poetry to refer to the noise of various animals.

Source: 送友人 - 百度百科

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