This is a translation and annotation of the poem 辛丑十一月十九日，既與子由別于鄭州西門之外，馬上賦詩一篇寄之, by the Song dynasty poet 蘇軾 (Su Shi) translations”). The poem was written to Su Shi’s brother upon his departure, and is also known by its first line 不飲胡為醉兀兀.
辛丑十一月十九日， Xīnchǒu shíyīyuè shíjiǔrì, [1061AD ] [November] [19th] November 19th 1061,
既與子由別于鄭州西門之外， jì yǔ Zǐyóu bié yú Zhèngzhōu xīmén zhī wài, [since] [with] [Zi] [You] [part] [at] [Zheng] [Zhou] [west] [gate] ['s] [outside] After Parting with Ziyou outside Zhengzhou's West Gate,
mǎshàng fù shī yī piān jì zhī [horse] [on] [write poetry] [one] [piece] [send] [him] I Write this Poem to Send to him
不飲胡為醉兀兀， Bù yǐn hú wèi zuì wù wù, [not] [drink] [what] [for] [drunk] [muddled] I have not been drinking, so why am I light headed?
此心已逐歸鞍發。 cǐ xīn yǐ zhú guī ān fā. [this] [heart] [already] [chase] [return] [saddle] [set off] This heart has saddled up with you and returned.
歸人猶自念庭幃， Guī rén yóuzì niàn tíng wéi, [return] [person] [still] [self] [think of] [hall] [quarters] The one returning still misses the halls of his home,
今我何以慰寂寞。 jīn wǒ héyǐ wèi jìmò. [now] [I] [what] [with] [console] [solitary] [lonely] but how will I console myself in loneliness now?
登高回首坡囘隔， Dēng gāo huíshǒu pō huí gé, [climb] [high] [return] [head] [slope] [-] [separate] I climb high, and look back from the slope - we are separated;
但見烏帽出復沒。 dàn jiàn wū mào chū fù méi. [but] [see] [black] [hat] [leave] [again] [not have] but I see your black hat leaving, then again, then not.
苦寒念爾衣裘薄， Kǔhán niàn ěr yī qiú báo, [bitter] [cold] [remember] [you] [clothes] [coat] [thin] In the bitter cold, I remember your clothes are thin;
獨騎瘦馬踏殘月。 dú qí shòu mǎ tà cányuè. [alone] [ride] [thin] [horse] [tread] [cruel] [moon] alone you ride a thin horse, treading beneath a cruel moon.
路人行歌居人樂， Lùrén xíng gē jū rén lè, [journey] [person] [travel] [sing] [reside] [person] [joy] The traveler sings of the joy of those who live there;
童僕怪我苦悽惻。 tóngpú guàiwǒ kǔ qī cè. [child] [servant] [wonder] [my] [bitter] [mournful] [sorrowful] the child servant wonders why I am so bitterly sad.
亦知人生要有別， Yì zhī rénshēng yào yǒu bié, [also] [know] [person] [life] [must] [have] [separation] I know, too, that life must have its farewells,
但恐歲月去飄忽。 dàn kǒng suìyuè qù piāohū. [but] [fear] [year] [month] [pass] [float] [overlook] but fear the months and years slipping by, unnoticed.
寒燈相對記疇昔， Hán dēng xiāngduì jì chóuxī, [cold] [lamp] [each other] [face] [remember] [past] In the cold lamplight, I remember our time together;
夜雨何時聽蕭瑟？ yè yǔ héshí tīng xiāosè? [night] [voice] [what] [time] [hear] [rustle] in the night, when will I hear the sound of your voice?
君知此意不可忘， Jūn zhī cǐ yì bùkě wàng, [sir] [know] [this] [wish] [not] [can] [forget] You know that this wish cannot be forgotten;
慎勿苦愛高官職。 shèn wù kǔ ài gāoguānzhí. [careful] [do not] [bitter] [love] [high] [official] [office] be careful not to fall in love with your high office.
I make 辛丑 in the title to be 1061AD, as it’s the only 辛丑 year during Su Shi’s lifetime (1037 – 1101).
胡為 in the first line is 何为.
庭幃, in the third line, refers to the living quarters of one’s parents.
The line “但見烏帽出復沒” seems to refer to the writer seeing the black hat bobbing up and down between slopes; one moment it is visible, the next it is not.
疇昔 is 往昔.
雨 in the fourteenth line seems to be 語.