This is a translation and annotation of the poem 明月幾時有 (Míng Yuè Jǐshí Yǒu) by the Song dynasty poet 蘇軾 (Su Shi). The poem is a 詞 poem, intended to be sung to a melody, in this case the melody 水調歌頭 (Shuǐ Diào Gē Tóu). The poem is often known by “蘇軾 水調歌頭” (Su Shi - Water Melody).
The notes preceding the poem are also translated here.
丙辰中秋， Bǐngchén zhōngqiū, [_bing_] [_chen_] [middle] [autumn] In autumn of the _bingchen_ year,
歡飲達旦， Huan yǐn dádàn, [happy] [drink] [arrive] [dawn] drinking merrily till dawn,
大醉， Dà zuì, [great] [drunk] very drunk,
作此篇， Zuò cǐ piān, [write] [this] [piece] one writes this piece,
兼懷子由。 Jiān huái Zi Yóu. [double] [think of] [_Zi_] [_You_] to remember Zi You.
蘇軾 水調歌頭 Sū Shì Shuǐ Diào Gē Tóu [_Su_] [_Shi_] [water] [melody] [song] [first] Su Shi - Water Melody
明月幾時有， Míng yuè jǐshí yǒu, [bright] [moon] [how much] [time] [have] When did the bright moon first appear?
把酒問青天。 Bǎjiǔ wèn qīngtiān. [hold] [wine] [ask] [blue] [sky] One raises a cup and asks the blue sky.
不知天上宮闕， Bù zhī tiān shàng gōngjué, [not] [know] [Heavens] [on] [palace] One does not know, in the celestial palaces,
今夕是何年。 Jīnxī shì hé nián. [today] [evening] [is] [what] [year] what year it is this evening.
我欲乘風歸去， Wǒ yù chéng fēng guī qù, [I] [want] [ride] [wind] [return] [go] I wish to ride the wind and return there,
又恐瓊樓玉宇， Yòu kǒng qióng lóu yùyǔ, [again] [fear] [jade] [building] [jade] [room] yet fear the jade towers;
高處不勝寒。 Gāo chù bùshèng hán. [high] [dwell] [not bear] [cold] in a high dwelling one cannot bear the cold.
起舞弄清影， Qǐ wǔ nòng qīng yǐng, [start] [dance] [play with] [clear] [shadow] Starting to dance with one's clear shadow -
何似在人間。 Hé sì zài rén jiān. [what] [resemble] [in] [human world] what else resembles the mortal world?
轉朱閣， Zhuǎn zhū gé, [revolve] [red] [pavilion] Revolving around the red pavilion,
低綺戶， Dī qǐ hù, [low] [silk-work] [door] lowering to a silk-work door,
照無眠。 Zhào wú mián. [shine] [not have] [sleep] it shines upon the sleepless.
不應有恨， Bù yīng yǒu hèn, [not] [should] [have] [hate] It should not have resentment;
何事長向別時圓？ Hé shì cháng xiàng bié shí yuán? [why] [thing] [always] [before] [separate] [time] [full] why is it always full at times of separation?
人有悲歡離合， Rén yǒu bēihuānlíhé, [people] [have] [sorrow] [joy] [parting] [reunion] People have sorrows, joys, parting and reunions,
月有陰晴圓缺， Yuè yǒu yīn qíng yuán quē, [moon] [has] [dark] [clear] [round] [scarce] the moon is dark, bright, waxes or wanes;
此事古難全。 Cǐ shì gǔ nán quán. [this] [issue] [ancient] [difficult] [entire] these problems have have been this way since ancient times.
但願人長久， Dàn yuàn rén chángjiǔ, [yet] [hope] [person] [long] [long time] Yet one hopes for longevity;
千里共嬋娟。 Qiān lǐ gòng chánjuān. [thousand] [miles] [together] [moon] [beauty] a thousand miles apart, together seeing the moon's beauty.
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