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Home300 Tang PoemsDu Fu: A SONG OF AN OLD CYPRESS - 杜甫《古柏行》 ~ 300...

Du Fu: A SONG OF AN OLD CYPRESS – 杜甫《古柏行》 ~ 300 Tang Poems

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七言古詩
杜甫

古柏行

孔明廟前有老柏, 柯如青銅根如石;
雙皮溜雨四十圍, 黛色參天二千尺。
君臣已與時際會, 樹木猶為人愛惜。
雲來氣接巫峽長, 月出寒通雪山白。
憶昨路繞錦亭東, 先主武侯同閟宮。
崔嵬枝幹郊原古, 窈窕丹青戶牖空。
落落盤踞雖得地, 冥冥孤高多烈風。
扶持自是神明力, 正直元因造化功。
大廈如傾要梁棟, 萬牛迴首丘山重。
不露文章世已驚, 未辭剪伐誰能送?
苦心豈免容螻蟻? 香葉終經宿鸞鳳。
志士幽人莫怨嗟, 古來材大難為用。
又作霜 又作原


Seven-character-ancient-verse
Du Fu

A SONG OF AN OLD CYPRESS

Beside the Temple of the Great Premier stands an ancient cypress
With a trunk of green bronze and a root of stone.
The girth of its white bark would be the reach of forty men
And its tip of kingfish-blue is two thousand feet in heaven.
Dating from the days of a great ruler’s great statesman,
Their very tree is loved now and honoured by the people.
Clouds come to it from far away, from the Wu cliffs,
And the cold moon glistens on its peak of snow.
…East of the Silk Pavilion yesterday I found
The ancient ruler and wise statesman both worshipped in one temple,
Whose tree, with curious branches, ages the whole landscape
In spite of the fresh colours of the windows and the doors.
And so firm is the deep root, so established underground,
That its lone lofty boughs can dare the weight of winds,
Its only protection the Heavenly Power,
Its only endurance the art of its Creator.
Though oxen sway ten thousand heads, they cannot move a mountain.
…When beams are required to restore a great house,
Though a tree writes no memorial, yet people understand
That not unless they fell it can use be made of it….
Its bitter heart may be tenanted now by black and white ants,
But its odorous leaves were once the nest of phoenixes and pheasants.
…Let wise and hopeful men harbour no complaint.
The greater the timber, the tougher it is to use.

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