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Classical Chinese

196 劉長卿 長沙過賈誼宅 translation: In Changsha, Passing by Jia Yi's Residence

This is a rough translation and annotation of the poem 長沙過賈誼宅 (Chángshā Guò Jiǎyì Zhái), ‘In Changsha, Passing by Jia Yi’s Residence’, by the Tang Dynasty Chinese poet 劉長卿 (Liú Chángqīng).

長沙過賈誼宅 Chángshā Guò Jiǎyì Zhái [Changsha][] [pass] [Jiayi][] [Residence] In Changsha, Passing by Jia Yi's Residence

三年謫宦此棲遲, Sān nián zhé huàn cǐ qī chí, [three] [year] [exile] [official] [here] [perch] [late] For three years exiled from the court, cooped up in this place; 棲遲 is a binome with a range of meanings; the “perch” interpretation here is based on the notes on 百度百科.

萬古惟留楚客悲。 wàngǔ wéi liú Chǔ kè bēi. [ten thousand] [old] [only] [leave behind] [Chu] [guest] [sorrow] through the ages only leaving behind the sorrow of this wanderer of Chu.

秋草獨尋人去後, Qiūcǎo dú xún rén qù hòu, [autumn] [grass] [alone] [seek] [person] [gone] [after] In autumn grasses alone, searching after the passage of others;

寒林空見日斜時。 hán lín kōng jiàn rì xié shí. [cold] [woods] [empty] [see] [sun] [slant] [time] in cold woods, empty, seeing the sun slant in time.

漢文有道恩猶薄, Hàn Wén yǒu dào ēn yóu báo, [Han] [Wen] [have] [way] [favour] [yet] [meagre] The Han Wen Emperor has wisdom, yet his mercy is slight;

湘水無情弔豈知。 xiāng shuǐ wúqíng diào qǐ zhī. [Xiang] [water] [not have] [feeling] [homage] [how] [know] the waters of the Xiang are pitiless -- if one paid homage who would know? This seems to be a reference to 屈原, who killed himself by drowning.

寂寂江山搖落處, Jíjí jiāngshān yáo luò chù, [lonesome] [lonesome] [river] [mountain] [shake] [fall] [place] In a lonesome, silent landscape is one's place to fall and settle;

憐君何事到天涯。 lián jūn héshì dào tiānyá. [pity] [sir] [what] [matter] [arrive] [sky] [edge] pitying you: for what reason must you go to the end of the earth?

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