Translation:Song of Everlasting Regret
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Lines 1 - 50
|Original||Pinyin (Standard Mandarin)||Jyutping (Cantonese)||Translation|
|長 恨 歌||cháng hèn gē||coeng⁴ han⁶ go¹||The Song of Everlasting Regret|
|漢皇重色思傾國，||Hàn huáng zhòng sè sī qīngguó,||hon³ wong⁴ cung⁴ sik¹ si¹ king¹ gwok³,||A certain emperor of the Han dynasty placed a premium on his dalliances, and longed for a woman so beautiful, that he might be tempted to ignore his duties at court, and thus bring about the downfall of his empire.|
|御宇多年求不得。||yùyǔ duōnián qiú bùdé.||jyu⁶ jyu⁵ do¹ nin⁴ kau⁴ bat¹ dak¹.||He ruled his empire for many years without finding such a beauty.|
|楊家有女初長成，||Yáng jiā yǒu nǚ chū zhǎng chéng,||joeng⁴ gaa¹ jau⁵ neoi⁵ co¹ coeng⁴ sing⁴,||There was a girl of the house of Yang who had just come of age.|
|養在深閨人未識。||yǎng zài shēnguī rén wèi shí.||joeng⁵ zoi⁶ sam¹ gwai¹ jan⁴ mei⁶ sik¹.||She had been brought up in the women's chambers, and was not yet known to the outside world.|
|天生麗質難自棄，||tiānshēng lìzhì nán zìqì,||tin¹ sang¹ lai⁶ zat¹ naan⁴ zi⁶ hei³,||Her natural beauty and lovely comportment were difficult to ignore,|
|一朝選在君王側。||yī zhāo xuǎn zài jūnwáng cè.||jat¹ ciu⁴ syun² zoi⁶ gwan¹ wong⁴ zak¹||One day, she was selected to stand at the side of His Majesty.|
|回眸一笑百媚生，||huímóuyīxiào bǎi mèi shēng,||wui⁴ mau⁴ jat¹ siu³ baak³ mei⁶ sang¹,||She could melt one's heart with her coquettish smile,|
|六宮粉黛無顏色。||liùgōng fěndài wú yánsè.||luk⁶ gung¹ fan² doi⁶ mou⁴ ngaan⁴ sik¹.||All of the powdered faces of the ladies in waiting from the six palaces paled in comparison.|
|春寒賜浴華清池，||chūn hán cì yù Huáqīngchí,||ceon¹ hon⁴ ci³ juk⁶ waa⁴ cing¹ ci⁴,||On a cold spring day, he bestowed upon her the honor of bathing with him at the Huaqing pools,|
|溫泉水滑洗凝脂。||wēnquán shuǐ huá xǐ níngzhī.||wan¹ cyun⁴ seoi² waat⁶ sai² jing⁴ zi¹.||The waters of the hot springs were smooth, and washed over her pale white skin.|
|侍兒扶起嬌無力，||shìér fú qǐ jiāo wúlì,||si⁶ ji⁴ fu⁴ hei² giu¹ mou⁴ lik⁶,||The palace maids helped her to leave the pool, because she was too delicate and lacked strength.|
|始是新承恩澤時。||shǐ shì xīn chéng ēnzé shí.||ci² si⁶ san¹ sing⁴ jan¹ zaak⁶ si⁴.||This was when she began to receive the emperor's advances.|
|雲鬢花顏金步搖，||yúnbìn huāyán jīnbùyáo,||wan⁴ ban³ faa¹ ngaan⁴ gam¹ bou⁶ jiu⁴,||She had dark black hair, and the face of a flower, with golden jewelry dangling from her hair.|
|芙蓉帳暖度春宵。||fúróng zhàng nuǎn dù chūn xiāo.||fu⁴ jung⁴ zoeng³ nyun⁵ dou⁶ ceon¹ siu¹.||They spent the spring nights in the warmth of a hibiscus tent.|
|春宵苦短日高起，||chūn xiāo kǔ duǎn rì gāo qǐ,||ceon¹ siu¹ fu² dyun² jat⁶ gou¹ hei²,||They lamented that the spring nights were all too short, and did not rise until long after the sun had come out.|
|從此君王不早朝。||cóngcǐ jūnwáng bù zǎozhāo.||cung⁴ ci² gwan¹ wong⁴ bat¹ zou² ciu⁴.||From this point on, His Majesty did not attend the morning court.|
|承歡侍宴無閒暇，||chéng huān shì yàn wú xiánxiá,||sing⁴ fun¹ si⁶ jin³ mou⁴ haan⁴ haa⁶,||She spent her days pleasing the emperor and accompanying him to banquets. She had no free time.|
|春從春遊夜專夜。||chūn cóng chūn yóu yè zhuān yè.||ceon¹ cung⁴ ceon&1 jau⁴ je⁶ zyun¹ je⁶.||In the springtime, she accompanied him on his outings, and would share his bed night after night.|
|後宮佳麗三千人，||hòu gōng jiālì sān qiān rén,||hau⁶ gung¹ gaai¹ lai⁶ saam¹ cin¹ jan⁴,||Although there were 3,000 beauties in the inner palace,|
|三千寵愛在一身。||sān qiān chǒngài zài yīshēn.||saam¹ cin¹ cung² ngoi³ zoi⁶ jat¹ san¹.||He placed the love of 3,000 all on her alone.|
|金屋妝成嬌侍夜，||jīnwū zhuāng chéng jiāo shì yè,||gam¹ nguk¹ zong¹ sing⁴ giu¹ si⁶ je⁶,||After she finished putting on her makeup in the golden house, she was a bundle of charm as she accompanied His Majesty in the evenings.|
|玉樓宴罷醉和春。||yùlóu yàn bà zuì hé chūn.||juk⁶ lau⁴ jin³ baa⁶ zeoi³ wo⁴ ceon¹.||She was drunk with alcohol and springtime after the banquets at the jade mansion.|
|姊妹弟兄皆列土，||zǐmèi dìxiōng jiē liètǔ,||zi² mui⁶ dai⁶ hing¹ gaai¹ lit⁶ tou²,||All of her brothers and sisters were granted land,|
|可憐光彩生門戶。||kělián guāngcǎi shēng ménhù.||ho² lin⁴ gwong¹ coi² sang¹ mun⁴ wu⁶||This enviable splendor breathed new life into their family status.|
|遂令天下父母心，||suì lìng tiānxià fùmǔ xīn,||seoi⁶ ling⁶ tin¹ haa⁶ fu⁶ mou⁵ sam¹,||This, in turn, caused the thinking of parents everywhere to change.|
|不重生男重生女。||bú zhòng shēng nán zhòng shēng nǚ.||bat¹ cung⁴ sang¹ naam⁴ cung⁴ sang¹ neoi⁵.||They no longer held boy babies in high esteem, but began to prize girl babies.|
|驪宮高處入青雲，||Lígōng gāochù rù qīngyún,||lei⁴ gung¹ gou¹ cyu³ jap⁶ cing¹ wan⁴,||The high spots of Mount Li Palace entered into the azure clouds.|
|仙樂風飄處處聞。||xiānyuè fēng piāo chùchù wén.||sin¹ lok⁶ fung¹ piu¹ cyu³ cyu³ man⁴.||Heavenly music floated on the winds; it could be heard everywhere.|
|緩歌慢舞凝絲竹，||huǎn gē màn wǔ níng sīzhú,||wun⁴ go¹ maan⁶ mou⁵ jing⁴ si¹ zuk¹,||The slow songs and rhythmic dancing blended seamlessly with the orchestra.|
|盡日君王看不足。||jìn rì jūnwáng kàn bùzú.||zeon⁶ jat⁶ gwan¹ wong⁴ hon³ bat¹ zuk¹||His Majesty could watch all day long, and still not get enough of it.|
|漁陽鼙鼓動地來，||Yúyáng pí gǔ dòng dì lái,||jyu⁴ joeng⁴ pei⁴ gu² dung⁶ dei⁶ loi⁴,||The sound of the war drums from Yuyang began to shake the earth,|
|驚破霓裳羽衣曲。||jīng pò Níchángyǔyīqǔ.||ging¹ po³ ngai⁴ soeng⁴ jyu⁵ ji¹ kuk¹.||And broke the spell of the Song of rainbow skirts and feather robes.|
|九重城闕煙塵生，||jiǔchóngchéngquè yānchén shēng,||gau² cung⁴ sing⁴ kyut³ jin¹ can⁴ sang¹,||Smoke and dust descended upon the nine layered watchtowers of the imperial palace,|
|千乘萬騎西南行。||qiānshèngwànjì xī'nán xíng.||cin¹ sing⁴ maan⁶ ke⁴ sai¹ naam⁴ hang⁴.||As a thousand chariots and a myriad horsemen sped to the southwest.|
|翠華搖搖行復止，||cuìhuá yáo yáo xíng fù zhǐ,||ceoi³ waa⁴ jiu⁴ jiu⁴ hang⁴ fuk⁶ zi²,||The jade ornaments adorning the imperial banners rocked back and forth as the emperor's chariot moved forward then stopped again,|
|西出都門百餘里。||xī chū dūmén bǎi yú lǐ.||sai¹ ceot¹ dou¹ mun⁴ baak³ jyu⁴ leoi⁵.||Traveling more than one hundred li from the western gate of the capital.|
|六軍不發無奈何，||liù jūn bù fā wú nàihé,||luk⁶ gwan¹ bat¹ faat³ mou⁴ noi⁶ ho⁴,||The six armies of the emperor refused to advance any further, so the emperor was left without a choice,|
|宛轉蛾眉馬前死。||wǎnzhuǎn éméi mǎ qián sǐ.||jyun² zyun² ngo⁴ mei⁴ maa⁵ cin⁴ sei².||The writhing fair maiden, whose long and slender eyebrows resembled the feathery feelers of a moth, died in front of the horses.|
|花鈿委地無人收，||huādiàn wěi dì wú rén shōu,||faa¹ din⁶ wai² dei⁶ mou⁴ jan⁴ sau¹,||Her ornate headdress fell to the ground, and nobody picked it up;|
|翠翹金雀玉搔頭。||cuìqiáo jīnquè yùsāotóu.||ceoi³ kiu⁴ gam¹ zoek³ juk⁶ sou¹ tau⁴||Then her kingfisher hair ornament, her gold sparrow hairpin and her jade hair clasp.|
|君王掩面救不得，||jūnwáng yǎn miàn jiù bùdé,||gwan¹ wong⁴ jim² min⁶ gau³ bat¹ dak¹,||His Majesty covered his face, for he could not save her.|
|回看血淚相和流。||huí kàn xuè lèi xiāng huò liú.||wui⁴ hon³ hyut³ leoi⁶ soeng¹ wo⁴ lau⁴||Looking back, he saw a stream of blood and tears mixing together.|
|黃埃散漫風蕭索，||huáng āi sǎnmàn fēng xiāosuǒ,||wong⁴ aai¹ saan³ maan⁶ fung¹ siu¹ sok³,||The yellow dust rising in the air amid a bleak and chilly breeze,|
|雲棧縈紆登劍閣。||yún zhàn yíngyū dēng Jiàn'gé.||wan⁴ zaan² jing⁴ jyu¹ dang¹ gim³ gok³||The winding wooden walkways high up in the clouds ascend through the pavilions of the pass at Mount Jian.|
|峨嵋山下少人行，||Éméishān xià shǎo rén xíng,||ngo⁴ mei⁴ saan¹ haa⁶ siu² jan⁴ hang⁴,||Few people were traveling on the road beneath Mount Emei,|
|旌旗無光日色薄。||jīngqí wú guāng rì sè bó.||sing¹ kei⁴ mou⁴ gwong¹ jat⁶ sik¹ bok⁶.||The banners had no luster and the sky was bleak.|
|蜀江水碧蜀山青，||Shǔ jiāng shuǐ bì Shǔ shān qīng,||suk⁶ gong¹ seoi² bik¹ suk⁶ saan¹ cing¹,||The rivers of Shu were blue, and the mountains of Shu were green,|
|聖主朝朝暮暮情。||shèngzhǔ zhāo zhāo mù mù qíng.||sing³ zyu² ciu⁴ ciu⁴ mou⁶ mou⁶ cing⁴.||Our liege lord thought about her night and day.|
|行宮見月傷心色，||xínggōng jiàn yuè shāngxīn sè,||hang⁴ gung¹ gin³ jyut⁶ soeng¹ sam¹ sik¹,||In his temporary palace, he would gaze at the moon, and his facial expression would reveal his broken heart,|
|夜雨聞鈴腸斷聲。||yè yǔ wén líng chángduàn shēng.||je⁶ jyu⁵ man⁴ ling⁴ coeng⁴ tyun⁵ sing¹||He would hear the wind chimes during an evening rain storm, a sound filled with sorrow.|
Lines 51 - 100
|天旋地轉回龍馭，||tiānxuándìzhuàn huí lóngyù,||tin sün4 dey6 jün3 wooi4 loong4 yü6,||After the uprising was over, the emperor's dragon chariot returned for him,|
|到此躊躇不能去。||dào cǐ chóuchú bùnéng qù.||dou3 chi2 chuw4 chü4 but nung4 höi3.||Arriving back at this place, he lingered and was unable to leave.|
|馬嵬坡下泥土中，||Mǎwéipō xià nítǔ zhōng,||Ma5 Nguy4 Bor ha6 nuy4 tow2 joong,||In the dirt at the slopes of Mawei,|
|不見玉顏空死處。||bù jiàn yù yán kōng sǐ chù.||but gin3 yook6 ngaan4 hoong sey2 chü3.||He did not see her face of Jade, he only saw the abandoned place where she had died.|
|君臣相顧盡霑衣，||jūnchén xiāng gù jìn zhān yī,||gwun sun4 söng gwoo3 jön6 jim yi,||The emperor and his ministers looked at each other and soaked their clothes with tears,|
|東望都門信馬歸。||dōng wàng dūmén xìn mǎ guī.||doong mong6 dou moon4 sön3 ma5 gwuy.||Looking to the east at the gates to the capital, they allowed the horses to dictate the pace of their return.|
|歸來池苑皆依舊，||guī lái chí yuàn jiē yījiù,||gwuy loy4 chi4 yün2 gaai yi guw6,||They returned to find the ponds and gardens the same as before,|
|太液芙蓉未央柳。||Tàiyè fúróng Wèiyāng liǔ.||Taai3 Yik6 foo4 yoong4 Mey6 Yöng luw5.||The lotus plants of Taiye ponds and the willow trees of Weiyang Palace.|
|芙蓉如面柳如眉，||fúróng rú miàn liǔ rú méi,||foo4 yoong4 yü4 min6 lui5 yü4 mey4,||The lotus plants were like her face and the willow trees were like her eyebrows,|
|對此如何不淚垂。||duì cǐ rúhé bù lèi chuí||döi3 chi2 yü4 hor4 but löi6 söi4 [sey4].||Upon seeing this, how could he hold back the tears?|
|春風桃李花開日，||chūn fēng táo lǐ huā kāi rì,||chön foong tow4 ley5 fa hoy yut6 [ngit6],||Gone were the breezy spring days when the peach and plum trees were in bloom,|
|秋雨梧桐葉落時。||qiū yǔ wútóng yè luò shí.||chuw yü5 ng4 toong4 yip6 lok6 si4,||Replaced by the autumn rains when the leaves of the Wutong trees had fallen.|
|西宮南內多秋草，||Xīgōng Nánnèi duō qiū cǎo,||suy goong naam4 noy6 dor chuw chou2,||The Western and Southern Palaces were overgrown with autumn grass,|
|落葉滿階紅不掃。||luòyè mǎn jiē hóng bù sǎo.||lok6 yip6 moon5 gaai hoong4 but sou3.||And nobody swept away the fallen red leaves that piled up on the steps.|
|梨園子弟白髮新，||líyuánzǐdì báifà xīn,||ley4 yün4 ji2 duy6 baak6 faat3 sun,||The performers of the Pear Garden royal opera troop had newly white hair,|
|椒房阿監青娥老。||jiāofáng ājiān qīng'é lǎo.||jiw fong4 aa3 gaam3 ching ngor4 low5.||At Pepper residence, the eunuchs and palace maids had become old.|
|夕殿螢飛思悄然，||xī diàn yíng fēi sī qiǎorán,||jik6 din6 ying4 fey si chiw3 yin4,||In the evening palace, the fireflies filled the air as he sat in silence, alone with his thoughts,|
|孤燈挑盡未成眠。||gū dēng tiǎo jìn wèi chéng mián.||gwoo dung tiw jön6 mey6 sing4 min4,||The lonely lamp had used up its wicker, yet he still could not sleep.|
|遲遲鐘鼓初長夜，||chí chí zhōng gǔ chū chángyè,||chi4 chi4 joong gwoo2 chor chöng4 ye6,||The bells and drums slowly rang out at the start of each watch, marking the beginning of another long night,|
|耿耿星河欲曙天。||gěng gěng xīng hé yù shǔ tiān.||gung2 gung2 sing hor4 yook6 chü5 tin.||The Milky Way shined brightly, how he longed for day break.|
|鴛鴦瓦冷霜華重，||yuānyang wǎ lěng shuāng huá zhòng,||yün yöng ngaa5 laang5 söng wa4 choong5,||The mandarin duck tiles were icy, and the frost on them was heavy,|
|翡翠衾寒誰與共。||fěicuì qīn hán shéi yǔ gòng?||fey2 chöi3 kum hon4 söi4 yü5 goong6,||The jadeite quilt was cold. After all, who would share it with him?|
|悠悠生死別經年，||yōuyōu shēng sǐ bié jīng nián,||yuw4 yuw4 sung sey2 bit6 ging nin4,||The living and the dead became separated one drawn-out year ago,|
|魂魄不曾來入夢。||húnpò bùcéng lái rùmèng.||wun4 paak3 but chung4 loy4 yup6 moong6.||Her soul had not appeared to him in his dreams.|
|臨邛道士鴻都客，||Línqióng dàoshì Hóngdūkè,||Lum4 Koong4 dou6 si6 hoong4 dou haak3,||A Daoist priest from Linqiong came to the capital as a guest,|
|能以精誠致魂魄。||néng yǐ jīngchéng zhì húnpò.||nung4 yi5 jing sing4 ji3 wun4 paak3.||He had the ability to use his piety to summon the spirits.|
|為感君王輾轉思，||wèi gǎn jūnwáng zhǎnzhuǎn sī,||wuy6 gum2 gwun wong4 jin2 jün2 si,||He was moved by His Majesty's anguish,|
|遂教方士殷勤覓。||suì jiào fāngshì yīnqín mì.||söi6 gao3 fong si6 yun kun4 mik6 [maak6].||And because of this, His Majesty eventually prevailed upon the priest to search for her spirit in earnest.|
|排空馭氣奔如電，||pái kōng yù qì bēn rú diàn,||paai4 hoong yü6 hey3 bun yü4 din6,||The priest ran like lightning as he parted the skies and rode high through the air,|
|升天入地求之遍。||shēng tiān rù dì qiú zhī biàn.||sing tin yup6 dey6 kuw4 ji pin3,||He ascended the heavens and down into the earth, looking for her everywhere.|
|上窮碧落下黃泉，||shàng qióng bìluò xià huángquán,||söng6 koong4 bik lok6 ha6 wong4 chün4,||He searched thoroughly up in the blue beyond, as well as down in the Yellow Springs below the earth,|
|兩處茫茫皆不見。||liǎng chù mángmáng jiē bújiàn.||löng5 chü3 mong4 mong4 gaai but gin3.||But did not spot her in the vastness of either place.|
|忽聞海上有仙山，||hū wén hǎishàng yǒu xiān shān,||fut mun5 hoi2 söng6 yuw5 sin saan,||Then suddenly, he heard about a mountain of celestial beings that was on the sea,|
|山在虛無縹緲間。||shān zài xūwú-piāomiǎo jiān.||saan joy6 höi mow4 piw miw5 gaan.||The mountain was in the midst of a vast expanse of haze.|
|樓閣玲瓏五雲起，||lóugé línglóng wǔyún qǐ,||luw4 gok3 ling4 loong4 ng5 wun4 hey2 [hi2],||A tower rose exquisitely through the vibrant clouds,|
|其中綽約多仙子。||qízhōng chuòyuē duō xiānzǐ.||kei4 joong chök3 yök3 dor sin ji2.||In the tower, there lived a great many celestials who were possessed of a feminine grace.|
|中有一人字太真，||zhōng yǒu yī rén zì Tàizhēn,||joong yuw5 yut yun4 ji6 taai3 jun,||Among these was someone with the style name of Tàizhēn,|
|雪膚花貌參差是。||xuěfū huā mào cēncī shì.||süt3 foo fa mao6 chum chi si6.||Who had snow-white skin, and a lovely countenance which more or less matched that of his lost love?|
|金闕西廂叩玉扃，||jīn què xī xiāng kòu yù jiōng,||gum küt3 suy söng kuw3 yook6 gwing2,||The priest knocked on the jade door to the western wing of the golden watchtower,|
|轉教小玉報雙成。||zhuǎn jiāo Xiǎoyù bào Shuāngchéng.||jün2 gao3 siw2 yook6 bou3 söng sing4,||He implored Xiǎoyù to relay a message to Shuāngchéng.|
|聞道漢家天子使，||wén dào Hàn jiā tiānzǐ shǐ,||mun4 dou6 hon3 ga tin ji2 si2,||Hearing that it was an emissary of the Han family's Son of Heaven,|
|九華帳裡夢魂驚。||jiǔhuázhàng lǐ mèng hún jīng.||guw2 wa4 jöng3 löi5 moong6 wun4 ging.||From inside the resplendent tent, she was startled awake from her dream.|
|攬衣推枕起徘徊，||lǎn yī tuī zhěn qǐ páihuái,||laam2 yi töi jum2 hey2 pooi4 wooi4 [woy4],||Reaching for her robes, and pushing aside her pillow, she began to pace around the room, dazed and confused,|
|珠箔銀屏迤邐開。||zhūbó yínpíng yǐlǐ kāi.||jü bok6 ngun4 ping4 yi5 ley5 hoy.||She then made her way through the pearl lace curtains and the screens of silver.|
|雲鬢半偏新睡覺，||yúnbìn bàn piān xīn shuìjiào,||wun4 bun3 boon3 pin sun söi6 gao3,||Her hairdo was lopsided, because she had been sleeping just now,|
|花冠不整下堂來。||huāguān bù zhěng xià táng lái.||fa gwoon3 but jing2 ha6 tong4 loy4.||Her headpiece was not straight as she descended into the main room.|
|風吹仙袂飄飄舉，||fēng chuī xiān mèi piāopiāo jǔ,||foong chöi sin muy6 piw piw göi2 [gü2],||A gust of wind caused her celestial sleeves to flutter,|
|猶似霓裳羽衣舞。||yóu sì Níchángyǔyīwǔ.||yuw4 chi5 ngui4 söng4 yü5 yi mou5 [mü5].||Just like when she used to perform the Dance of rainbow skirts and feather robes.|
|玉容寂寞淚闌干，||yùróng jìmò lèi lán'gān,||yook6 yoong4 jik6 mok6 löi6 laan4 gon,||Her jade countenance was sad, and crisscrossed with tears,|
|梨花一枝春帶雨。||lí huā yī zhī chūn dài yǔ.||ley4 fa yut ji chön daai3 yü5.||Like a pear blossom bathed in springtime rain.|
Lines 101 - end
|含情凝睇謝君王，||hánqíng níngdì xiè jūnwáng,||hum4 ching4 ying4 tuy2 je6 gwun wong4 [waang4]:||Full of emotion, she fixed her gaze on the priest and relayed her thanks to His Majesty,|
|一別音容兩渺茫。||yī bié yīn róng liǎng miǎománg.||yut bit6 yum yoong4 löng5 miw5 mong4 [maang4].||But since they last parted, they looked and sounded only vaguely familiar to each other.|
|昭陽殿裡恩愛絕，||Zhāoyángdiàn lǐ ēn'ài jué,||Chiu Yöng4 Din6 löi5 yun ngoi3 jüt6,||The passion that they shared in the Hall of the Bright Sun was now no more,|
|蓬萊宮中日月長。||Pénglái Gōng zhōng rìyuè cháng.||Foong4 Loy4 Goong joong yut6 yüt6 chöng4 [tiang4].||The days and months are now long in Penglai Palace.|
|回頭下望人寰處，||huítóu xià wàng rénhuán chù,||wooi4 tuw4 ha6 mong6 yun4 waang4 chü3,||Turning back to look down at the places where mortals dwell,|
|不見長安見塵霧。||bújiàn Cháng'ān jiàn chénwù.||but gin3 Chöng4 On gin3 chun4 mou6 [mü6].||She does not see Chang'an, she only sees dust and mist.|
|唯將舊物表深情，||wéi jiāng jiù wù biǎo shēnqíng,||wuy4 jöng guw6 mut6 biw2 sum ching4,||All she could do was to send along some old keepsakes as an expression of her deep affection,|
|鈿合金釵寄將去。||diànhé jīnchāi jì jiāng qù.||tin4 hup6 gum chaai gey3 jöng höi3 [hü3].||So she sent away the emissary with her inlaid box and golden hairpin.|
|釵留一股合一扇，||chāi liú yī gǔ hé yī shàn,||chaai luw4 yut gwoo2 hup6 yut sin3,||But she kept one part of the hairpin and one leaf of the box,|
|釵擘黃金合分鈿。||chāi bò huángjīn hé fēn diàn.||chaai maak3 wong4 gum hup6 fun tin4,||From then on, the pieces of the hairpin and the box would be separated.|
|但教心似金鈿堅，||dàn jiāo xīn sì jīn diàn jiān,||daan6 gao3 sum chi5 gum tin4 gin,||But, she left word for His Majesty to remain firm in his devotion to her, just like the firmness of the gold and inlay work,|
|天上人間會相見。||tiānshàng rénjiān huì xiāngjiàn.||tin söng6 yun4 gaan wooi5 söng gin3.||Sooner or later, they will see each other again, whether it be in the heavens beyond or among the mortals on earth.|
|臨別殷勤重寄詞，||línbié yīnqín chóng jì cí,||lum4 bit6 yun kun4 choong4 gey3 chi4,||As they were about to part company, she once again implored the priest to pass along a message for her,|
|詞中有誓兩心知。||cí zhōng yǒu shì liǎng xīn zhī.||chi4 joong yuw5 suw6 löng5 sum ji:||The message contained a promise that only the two of them would know about.|
|七月七日長生殿，||qīyuè qīrì Chángshēng Diàn,||chut yüt6 chut yut6 Chöng4 Sung Din6,||On the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, in the Hall of Longevity,|
|夜半無人私語時。||yèbàn wú rén sī yǔ shí.||ye6 boon3 mow4 yun4 si yü5 si4.||At midnight, when nobody is around, this is when we will make our secret pact.|
|在天願作比翼鳥，||zài tiān yuàn zuò bǐ yì niǎo,||joy6 tin yün6 jok3 bei2 yik6 niu5,||"In the heavens, we vow to be as two birds flying wingtip to wingtip,|
|在地願為連理枝。||zài dì yuàn wéi lián lǐ zhī.||joy6 dey6 yün6 wuy4 lin4 ley5 ji.||On earth, we vow to be as two intertwined branches of a tree."|
|天長地久有時盡，||tiānchángdìjiǔ yǒu shí jìn,||tin chöng4 dey6 guw2 yuw5 si4 jön6,||Even the heaven and earth have their ending times,|
|此恨綿綿無絕期。||cǐ hèn mián mián wú jué qí.||chi2 hun6 min4 min4 mow4 jüt6 kei4 [ki4].||The regret of our parting will last forever and never end.|
- Han dynasty is a disguise to avoid literary inquisition. It is actually referencing to Tang dynasty. The Emperor Xuanzong of Tang, whose relationship to Yang Guifei brought to mind the Emperor Wu of Han's relationship to his concubine, Consort Li. Bai Juyi would have considered it unpoetic to refer to his subject directly.
- Bai Juyi is referring to the story of how Emperor Wu of Han met Consort Li. See: 傾國.
- Built in 723, the Huaqing pools was a hot springs in Huaqing Palace (華清宮), which was located atop Mount Li (驪山) in the Qinling Mountains. It was located approximately 25 km to the east of the capital city of Chang'an.
- Bai Juyi is making an allusion to a story about the Emperor Wu of Han, who promised to build Empress Chen Jiao a golden house. Bai Juyi is taking advantage of the fact that Jiao (嬌), the given name of the Empress, also means charming. This story is preserved in the modern day idiom: 金屋藏嬌.
- Huaqing Palace (華清宮), which was located atop Mount Li (驪山) in the Qinling Mountains.
- Yuyang county is now known as Miyun County. The capital city of Yuyang county was Fanyang. An Lushan was the regional military governor of Fanyang during this time. It was from there that he staged the An Lushan Rebellion, which forced the emperor to flee the capital.
- This may be a play on words. Mount Emei (峨嵋), where the emperor was fleeing to, was so named because the peaks of Mount Emei do in fact resemble the feelers of a moth (蛾眉). The feelers of a moth can also be a metaphor for the long and slender eyebrows of a beautiful woman.
- On 15 July, 756 Emperor Xuanzong's procession reached Mawei Station (馬嵬驛, in modern Xianyang, Shaanxi). The imperial guards were not fed and became angry at Yang Guifei's cousin Yang Guozhong. The emperor's general Chen Xuanli (陳玄禮) also believed that Yang Guozhong had provoked this disaster and planned to accuse him; he reported his plans to crown prince Li Heng through Li Heng's eunuch Li Fuguo, but Li Heng was hesitant and gave no approval. Meanwhile, Tufan emissaries, who had followed Emperor Xuanzong south, were meeting with Yang Guozhong and complaining that they also had not been fed. The soldiers of the imperial guard took this opportunity to proclaim that Yang Guozhong was planning treason along with the Tufan emissaries, and they killed him, along with his son Yang Xuan (楊暄), the Ladies of Han and Qin, and the official Wei Fangjin. Chancellor Wei Jiansu was also nearly killed, but was spared at the last moment with severe injuries. The soldiers then surrounded Emperor Xuanzong's pavilion, and refused to scatter even after Emperor Xuanzong came out to comfort them and order them to disperse. Chen publicly urged him to put Consort Yang to death -- which Emperor Xuanzong initially declined. After Wei Jiansu's son Wei E (韋諤) and the emperor's eunuch Gao Lishi spoke further, Emperor Xuanzong finally resolved to do so. He therefore had Gao take Consort Yang to a Buddhist shrine and strangle her. After he showed the body to Chen and the other imperial guard generals, the guard soldiers finally dispersed and prepared for further travel. Meanwhile, Yang Guozhong's wife Pei Rou (裴柔), son Yang Xi (楊晞), the Lady of Guo, and the Lady of Guo's son Pei Hui (裴徽) tried to flee, but were killed in flight. Consort Yang was buried at Mawei, without a coffin, but with masses of fragrances, wrapped in purple blankets. In the poem, Bai Juyi writes that the Consort Yang is killed in front of the horses. This is probably meant to be taken as literary allusion. The word for "horse" (mǎ) is also the first syllable of Mawei Station.
- In present day Jian'ge County, Sichuan Province. Jian'ge County is famous for the long and windy foot paths going through Jianmen Pass. Jianmen means "gateway to Mount Jian", so called because its jagged peaks resemble a "jian" (a straight sword).
- Bai Juyi is probably taking poetic liscence here. It was probably a mountain in Sichuan, but not necessarily Mount Emei, which has always been an inspiration to Chinese poets
- A reference to Mawei (馬嵬) way station, where Yang Guifei was killed.
- West of Xingping County in modern day Shaanxi
- Yang Guifei's name at birth was Yuhuan (玉環), which means jade earrings.
- The Taiye ponds were built in the time of the Emperor Wu of Han. Weiyang Palace refers to a palace of the Han Dynasty which was built by Xiao He. Both places were located to the northwest of Chang'an in Shaanxi. Bai Juyi is again drawing comparisons between the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang and the earlier Emperor Wu of Han.
- The Western Palace was also known as the Taiji Palace (太極宮), and was located to the northwest of the capital. The Southern Palace was also known as the Xingqing Palace (興慶宮), and was located to the southeast of the capital. After the rebellion was put down, the emperor temporarily stayed first at the Southern Palace, and then in Ganlu Hall (甘露殿) of the Western Palace, before returning to Chang'an.
- Where the empresses of the Han Dynasty had lived. Located in Weiyang Palace (未央宮). Bai Juyi is indirectly referring to Yang Guifei's living quarters via an analogy to the Han Dynasty.
- In present day Qionglai (邛崍), Sichuan.
- Hóngdū was originally the name of one of the gates of the Northern Palace in Luoyang (capital of China during the Han Dynasty). Later, it came to refer generically to any capital.
- Tàizhēn was Yang Guifei's style name
- In Daoist lore, Xiǎoyù and Shuāngchéng were the names of two female celestial beings. Here, the author turns them into the maid servants of Yang Guifei after she became a celestial being herself.
- In other words, an emissary of the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang
- A reference back to the earlier stanza, "The sound of the war drums from Yuyang began to shake the earth, And broke the spell of the Song of rainbow skirts and feather robes." (霓裳羽衣曲)
- This line gave birth to the idiom: 梨花帶雨
- Originally built during the time of Emperor Wu of Han, the Hall of the Bright Sun (Zhaoyang Hall) became the residence of Empress Zhao Feiyan during the reign of Emperor Cheng of Han. Later poets used the Hall of the Bright Sun as a general metaphor for the living quarters of imperial consorts.
- The Chinese for "where mortals dwell" (人寰) contains the character 寰, which might also be an allusion to 環, part of Yang Guifei's birth name: Yáng Yùhuán (楊玉環).
- The name of a hall within Huaqing Palace. Recall that the emperor first bathed with Yang Guifei at the pools of Huaqing Palace (line 9 of the poem).