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陶淵明 桃花源詩 translation: The Peach Blossom Spring (poem), by Tao Yuanming

This is a translation / annotation of the poem 桃花源詩 (‘The Peach Blossom Spring’) by the Six Dynasties poet 陶淵明 (Tao Yuanming).

桃花源詩 Táohuāyuán shī [peach] [flower] [spring] [poem] The Peach Blossom Spring (poem)

嬴氏亂天紀, Yíng shì luàn tiān jì, [Ying] [clan] [disorder] [Heaven] [order] When the Ying clan broke Heaven's order,

賢者避其世。 xiánzhě bì qí shì. [wise] [those who] [flee] [its] [generation] the wise left that generation.

黃綺之商山, Huáng Qǐ zhī shāng shān, [Huang] [Qi] [go] [Shang] [mountain] Huang and Qi went to Mt. Shang,

伊人亦云逝。 yīrén yì yún shì. [they] [person] [also] [say] [pass]

往跡浸复湮, Wǎng jī jìn fù yān, [go] [footprints] [gradually] [again] [bury]

來徑遂蕪廢。 lái jìng suì wú fèi. [come] [way] [then] [not have] [abandon]

相命肆農耕, Xiàng mìng sì nónggēng, [they] [assign] [completely] [farmer] [plough] Their task was only to farm,

日入從所憩。 rì rù cóng suǒ qì. [sun] [go in] [from] [place] [rest] when the sun went down they rested.

桑竹垂馀蔭, Sāngzhú chuí yú yīn, [mulberry] [bamboo] [hang] [surplus] [shade] Mulberry and bamboo grew in excessive shade;

菽稷隨時藝; shū jì suíshí yì; [legume] [millet] [follow] [season] [to plant] legumes and millet, according to the season planted;

春蠶收長絲, Chūn cán shōu cháng sī, [spring] [silkworm] [receive] [long] [thread] In spring, from the silkworms taking long threads;

秋熟靡王稅。 qiū shú mí wáng shuì. [autumn] [ripe] [not] [monarch] [tax] in autumn all is ripe, yet they do not pay the king's taxes.

荒路曖交通, Huāng lù ài jiāotōng, [neglected] [road] [obscure] [connect] [go through] The neglected road disguises any route through;

雞犬互鳴吠。 jī quǎn hù míng fèi. [chicken] [dog] [each other] [cluck] [bark] chickens and dogs cluck and back at each other.

俎豆猶古法, Zǔ dòu yóu gǔ fǎ, [sacrificial stand] [bean] [as if] [ancient] [way] On a sacrificial stand, placing beans as was the ancient way;

衣裳無新制。 yīshang wú xīnzhì. [clothes] [garments] [not have] [new] [manufacture] their clothes had no new designs.

童孺縱行歌, Tóngrú zòng xíng gē, [child] [child] [release] [walk] [song] The children walked and sang;

斑白歡游詣。 bānbái huān yóu yì. [patchy] [white] [joyous] [roam] [visit] the white-haired were joyous, at their leisure.

草榮識節和, Cǎo róng shí jié hé, [grass] [thrive] [know] [season] [harmony] When the grasses thrive, they know the seasons are in harmony;

木衰知風厲。 mù shuāi zhī fēng lì. [tree] [decline] [know] [wind] [fierce] when trees decline, they know the wind's fierceness.

雖無紀曆志, Suī wú jìlìzhì, [although] [not have] [era] [history] [record] Although they have no records of history,

四時自成歲。 sì shí zì chéng suì. [four] [season] [from] [form] [year] the four seasons form the years.

怡然有餘樂, Yírán yǒuyú yuè, [joyful] [-ly] [have] [excess] [joy] Happy when there is the joy of abundance,

於何勞智慧? yú hé láo zhìhuì? [at] [what] [toil] [wisdom] [intelligence] why toil for wisdom and knowledge?

奇踪隱五百, Qí zōng yǐn wǔbǎi, [strange] [trace] [hidden] [five] [hundred] This wondrous artifact, hidden for five centuries,

一朝敞神界。 yī zhāo chǎng shén jiè. [one] [morning] [disclose] [spirit] [world] one morning revealed to the world of spirits.

淳薄既異源, Chún báo jì yì yuán, [pure] [simple] [and] [strange] [spring] This pure, simple, strange spring;

旋復還幽蔽。 xuán fù hái yōu bì. [turn] [return] [still] [remote] [cover] one went and returned, yet it is still remote and hidden.

借問遊方士, Jièwèn yóu fāng shì, [take] [ask] [travel] [place] [scholar] May one ask, a traveling scholar -

焉測塵囂外。 yān cè chénxiāo wài. [how] [survey] [dust] [clamour] [outside] how can he know from the dirt and noise outside?

願言躡清風, Yuàn yán niè qīngfēng, [wish] [speak] [tip-toe] [pure] [breeze] I wish to tip-toe on a cool breeze,

高舉尋吾契。 gāojǔ xún wú qì. [high] [hold up] [seek] [my] [ideal] rising high, seeking my ideal.

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