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白居易《长恨歌》英译赏析,

作者: 录入:tmx 来源:天涯论坛 2018-08-13 10:42:38 

                              长 恨 歌
(唐)白居易 邢全臣译《用英语欣赏国粹》

汉皇重色思倾国,御宇多年求不得。
杨家有女初长成,养在深闺人不知。
天生丽质难自弃,一朝选在君王侧。
回眸一笑百媚生,六宫粉黛无颜色。
春寒赐浴华清池,温泉水滑洗凝脂。
侍儿扶起娇无力,始是新承恩泽时。
云鬓花颜金步摇,芙蓉帐暖度春宵。
春宵苦短日高起,从此君王不早朝。
承欢侍宴无闲暇,春从春游夜专夜。
后宫佳丽三千人,三千宠爱在一身。
金屋妆成娇侍夜,玉楼宴罢醉和春。
姊妹弟兄皆列土,可怜光彩生门户。
遂令天下父母心,不重生男重生女。
骊宫高出入青云,仙乐风飘处处闻。
缓歌慢舞凝丝竹,尽日君王看不足。
渔阳鼙鼓动地来,惊破《霓裳羽衣曲》。
九重城阙烟尘生,千乘万骑西南行。
翠华摇摇行复止,西出都门百余里。
六军不发无奈何,宛转蛾眉马前死。
花钿委地无人收,翠翘金隺玉搔头。
君王掩面救不得,回看血泪相和流。
黄埃散漫风萧索,云桟萦纡登剑阁。
峨嵋山下少人行,旌旗无光日色暮。
蜀江水碧蜀山青,圣主朝朝暮暮情。
行宫见月伤心色,夜雨闻铃肠断声。
天旋地转回龙驭,到此踌躇不能去。
马嵬坡下泥土中,不见玉颜空死处。
君臣相顾尽沾衣,东望都门信马归。
归来池苑皆依旧,太液芙蓉未央柳。
芙蓉如面柳如眉,对此如何不垂泪?
春风桃李花开日,秋雨梧桐叶落时。
西宫南内多秋草,落叶满阶红不扫。
梨园弟子白发新,椒房阿监青娥老。
夕殿萤飞思悄然,孤灯挑尽未成眠。
迟迟钟鼓初长夜,耿耿星河欲曙天。
鸳鸯瓦冷霜华重,翡翠衾寒谁与共?
悠悠生死别经年,魂魄不曾来入梦。
临邛道士鸿都客,能以精诚致魂魄。
为感君王辗转思,遂教方士殷勤觅。
排云驭气奔如电,升天入地求之遍。
上穷碧落下黄泉,两处茫茫皆不见。
忽闻海上有仙山,山在虚无缥缈间。
楼阁玲珑五云起,其中绰约多仙子。
中有一人字太真,雪肤花貌参差是。
金阕西厢叩玉扃,转教小玉报双成。
闻道汉家天子使,九华帐里梦魂惊。
揽衣推枕起徘徊,珠箔银屏迤逦开。
云髻半偏新睡觉,花冠不整下堂来。
风吹仙袂飘飘举,犹似《霓裳羽衣》舞。
玉容寂寞泪阑干。梨花一枝春带雨。
含情凝睇谢君王,一别音容两茫茫。
昭阳殿里恩爱绝,蓬莱宫中日月长。
回头下望人寰处,不见长安见尘雾。
惟将旧物表深情,钿合金钗寄将去。
钗留一股合一扇,钗掰黄金合分钿。
但教心似金钿坚,天上人间会相见。
临别殷勤重寄词,词中有誓两心知。
七月七日长生殿,夜半无人私语时。
在天愿作比翼鸟,在地愿为连理枝。
天长地久有时尽,此恨绵绵无绝期。

Song of an Everlasting Regret1
Bai Juyi [Tang Dynasty]

The amorous Tang emperor2 looked for a unique beauty,
He failed after many years’ search of the whole country.
There was a girl who’d just grown up in the Yang family,
The girl stayed all day long in her bower, without company.
She could not hide from the world as she was born pretty,
So she was chosen the first lady3 of his quickly.
When she smiled she was an extremely charming female,
By comparison, all other bower maids became pale.
On a cold vernal day she was led to the royal hot spring4,
Where her complexion washed was like white jade shining.
She was feeble when other maids helped her out of the water,
This was the first time she enjoyed the emperor’s favour.
She dressed in the most graceful style of a woman,
She spent spring nights with him inside the splendid curtain.
When the sun rose high they complained the nights were too short,
After that the emperor seldom went to his office at court.
Thus favored, she was busy staying with him at each party,
In bed and on spring outing she was his constant company.
There were three thousand in the harem serving the throne,
He gave his favor to none else but her alone.
Her kinsfolk were granted fiefdoms of high position,
All her family rose to the peerage without question.
Lady Yang lived in a golden house to serve him at night hours,
They two enjoyed spring dinner parties in jade-like towers.
Her story convinced all the parents across the country,
It’s better to bring daughters than sons to a family.
The palace on Mount Li was cloud-kissing high,
From which leisurely music floated far and nigh.
In harmony were the dulcet songs and light dancing,
The sovereign was made happy from morning till evening.
Then the An Lushan Rebellion5 came forth like thunder,
Waking the emperor from his dreams of pleasure.
A long procession was hurried from the capital Chang’an,
A stream of steeds and wagons fleeing southwest to Sichuan.
At a place thirty miles from the west gate of the royal city,
The green feather-woven flag waved and stopped marching.
Officers and soldiers demanded to kill the First Lady,
Then before his horse a famous beauty met her death, bleeding.
All her ornaments were scattered on the ground,
Which were as costly in the world as could be found.
Of no help for her, the sovereign covered his face, weeping,
He turned round, his tears and her blood streaming.
The yellow dust rose like a curtain, the cold wind howling,
A cloud-kissing mountain path led them onward, zigzagging.
At the foot of the mountain6 few travelers could be seen,
In the dim evening sunlight the royal banners lacked sheen.
Facing the mountains and rivers in Sichuan that were green,
For her death the wise emperor’s sorrow was all day keen.
At the temporal palace the moon shone cold on his curtain,
At the sound of the night rain against bells he felt heart-broken.
In the royal carriage he returned when the situation did improve,
But at the sight of her grave he hesitated to move.
In the earth of the Mawei Slope7 on which she died,
He could see his first lady no more but only sighed.
He and his men looked at each other, tearfully laden,
They rode east towards the capital, looking crestfallen.
The palaces and parklands—all remained the same as before,
As did the royal lotus and willows at court he saw.
The lotus was like her face, the leaves her eyebrows, but lifeless,
How could he stop his tears from streaming at the sight of this?
The vernal breeze blows when peach and pear trees are blooming,
The autumn rain patters when parasol leaves are falling.
The Taiji and Xingping palaces were profuse with weeds wanton,
The unswept steps were all covered with red leaves fallen.
The royal musicians and songsters began to grow hair white,
So did the bower maids who were kept busy day and night.
He felt sad when he saw glowworms fly in the evening hall,
When the lone lamp burnt off he couldn’t sleep at all.
The night seemed long when he heard the bell tower tolling,
He watched the bright Milky Way till next morning.
Years had past since she died and merciless time seemed in flight,
Her ghost had never come to haunt his dreams at night.
On paired tiles8 of the roof a heavy frost descending,
Could his Lady come and share the cold quilt with him, sleeping?
A Taoist priest came to visit Chang’an as a guest,
Who was believed able to wake up a soul laid at rest.
Feeling sorry for the emperor sleepless at night,
The priest searched everywhere for her soul with all his might.
Flying above the clouds at a speed fast like lightning,
Up in the heaven and down on the earth he did the soul searching.
Up to the sky and down underground as he could go,
But in neither place could he find her shadow.
News came sudden of a fairyland at sea far away,
Which was aerial, like a castle in the air misty.
Colorful clouds enveloping the splendid housing all day,
Upon this land there lives many a fairy.
Of whom one, called Taizhen, was extremely pretty,
All of her was beauty, just like the first lady.
He knocked at the jade gate of the West Gold Chamber,
And asked one servant girl to report it to another.
Hearing the coming of an envoy of the Tang sovereign,
She woke from her dream inside her embroidered curtain.
Pushing the pillow aside, she dressed up and came over.
The pearl door curtain and silver screen were pushed open,
Her hair undressed, she seemed just awake from her slumber.
Her corona dressed askew, she came to my reception.
Her sleeves in the breeze were waving gently,
As if she were still dancing for his majesty.
Down her pretty face were lonely tears quickly streaming,
As if a branch of pear flowers were wet with rain in spring.
Her eyes showed profound gratitude to the sovereign,
There was no message passed due to separation.
The love they established in the palace ceased to be,
Life in the fairyland lasts as long as time can see.
She overlooked the mortal world where the first lady she’d been,
She could not see Chang’an but a foggy, dusty scene.
She had the old gifts sent to her sweetheart, still living,
A gold pin and a box here to express her profound feeling.
To herself for memory, half of the gifts she kept,
And to the emperor, her sweetheart, half were left.
If a love on either side is felt true at heart,
They shall unite some day, however far apart.
On parting she entrusted a message sent by the envoy,
Which contained a pledge known only to her and his majesty.
In the Hall of Longevity9 on the seventh10 of the seventh month lunar,
At midnight about their love affairs they would secretly whisper.
They in the sky wished to be paired birds that fly wing to wing,
They on earth wished to be twin branches together growing.
Time and space might come to an end some day,
This lingering regret would last for aye.


Note: (1) The title of this poem was thus given in light of the meaning of the last two lines of it.
(2) By “the Tang emperor” here the poet meant the Tang Emperor Xuanzong.
(3) She was born in an influential family in Sichuan and named Yang Yuhuan, who later altered her name to “Taizhen”, which is mentioned in the following as the name of a fairy who was the imagined incardinate of the First Lady. In 745 she became the First Lady of Emperor Xuanzong.
(4) “The royal hot spring” refers to the Huaqing Bath Pool, seated in Mount Li in present Tongguan County, Shaanxi Province.
(5) In 755, An Lushan started a tremendous rebellion against the Tang Dynasty.
(6)By “Mount Emei” in the original the poet referred to the mountain in Sichuan, which the Tang emperor and his men climbed over on the way as they fled from Chang’an to Sichuan. This had nothing to do with Mount Emei, in fact.
(7) “The Mawei Slope” was the place where the emperor gave her First lady a sword and demanded she commit suicide.
(8)“Paired titles”, on one of which was engraved a male mandarin duck, on the other a female one, were used on the roofing of the royal palaces, with one put supine, the other prostrate, to form a pair like mandarin ducks.
(9)The Hall of Longevity was in the Huaqing Palace on Mount Li.
(10) According to Chinese methology, Altair and Vega, each standing on one side of the Milky Way, are the incardinates of a cowherd and a weaving girl, who were lovers separated by Jade Emperor, but are allowed to meet once on the seventh of every lunar July. In the eyes of the Chinese people Altair and Vega are a symbol of beautiful things. Here the poet arranged on purpose the seventh of the lunar seventh month as the date of appointment for Emperor Xuanzong and his First Lady, adding to his work a flavor of literary romance.

The poet (see No. 27) and the background note: Three score and ten years after the first lady died, the poet composed this poem, which runs over one hundred and twenty lines, with the Han emperor as the object to be described, as can be seen in the original, instead of mentioning the Tang emperor, in order to evade any political trouble. It is a perfect integration of description of events, expression of feelings and depiction of scenes. It is a long piece rarely seen among classic lyrics in Chinese literature. Although there are pathetic, plaintive plots in this work, the poet mixed them in vivid description of the scenes and faithful expression of emotions, instead of making efforts in the account of events. It can be divided into four parts in light of its content. The first part runs down to the line “The sovereign was made happy from morning till evening”, criticizing the Tang emperor whose dissolution led the country astray and the first lady who cudgeled her brains to win the emperor’s favor with her beautiful looks. The second part, which runs down to the line “At the sound of the night rain against bells he felt heart-broken”, tells of the death of the first lady and the profound feeling of the emperor for his lady after he fled to Sichuan. The third part, which runs down to the line “Her ghost had never come to haunt his dreams at night”, writes of the emperor’s unfading affections for his lady when he was back in the capital Chang’an and thought of her night and day. The poet turned to show sympathy for their misfortunes. The fourth part turns to a romantic description of the meeting of their souls, both of which kept steadfast about their past love, with the subject concentrated on a hearty eulogy of their genuine emotions. Therefore, the multiplicity of the subject is one of the features of this work that we should bear in mind when appreciating it. The poem is long but not redundant, with remarkable lines appearing now and then, as the language in it is smooth, fresh and moving.

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