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HomeTang Poetry and Chinese Calligraphy邓散木 草书:许浑《故洛城》

邓散木 草书:许浑《故洛城》

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邓散木 草书:许浑《故洛城》


【释文】黍离离半野蒿,昔人城此岂知劳,水声东去市朝变,山势北来宫墙高,鸦噪暮云归古堞,雁迷寒雨下空壕,可怜缑岭登仙子,犹自吹笙醉碧桃。

【款识】散木。

【简析】

  洛阳,是有名的古城,东汉、曹魏、西晋、北魏曾建都于此。隋炀帝时,在旧城以西十八里营建新城,武则天时又加扩展,成为唐代的东都,而旧城由此芜废。许浑这首诗是凭吊故城感怀。

  登临送目,一片荒凉颓败的图景展现在眼前:禾黍成行,蒿草遍野,再也不见旧时城市的风貌。“禾黍离离”,是从《诗经·黍离》篇开首的“彼黍离离”一句脱化而来。原诗按传统解说,写周王室东迁后故都的倾覆,藉以寄托亡国的哀思。这里加以化用,也暗含对过去王朝兴灭更替的追思。

  由城市的衰败,诗人转念及当年兴建时的情景。“城此”的“城”,这里作动词用,筑城的意思。“岂知劳”的“知”,这里有管得上的意思。劳动人民世世代代不辞艰辛,用双手修建起这座城市,任其弃置废毁,岂不令人痛惜?

  诗人的联想活动接着向更广阔的方面展开。“水声东去”,既是写的实景(故洛城紧靠洛水北岸),又有双关寓意。《论语》记载孔子有一次经过河边,望着滔滔不息的河水叹息道:“逝者如斯夫,不舍昼夜!”诗人也是由脚下奔流向东的洛水,生发出光阴流逝、人世沧桑之感:昔日繁华的街市、隆盛的朝会、熙来攘往的人群、多少悲欢离合的情事,都在这哗哗不停的水声中变幻隐现,而终归烟消云散。想到这一切,真叫人思潮汹涌,起伏难平!

  如果说,“水声”是动景,“山势”就是静景,动静搭配,以沧桑之感暗中联系。洛阳城北有芒山,一作邙山,绵亘四百余里,成为古都的天然屏障,居高临下,可以俯瞰全城。东汉梁鸿《五噫歌》云:“陟彼北芒兮,噫!顾瞻帝京兮,噫!宫阙崔巍兮,噫!民之劬劳兮,噫!辽辽未央兮,噫!”而今,城市虽已不复当年繁盛景象,而那残存的宫殿却还高耸着,仿佛在给历史作见证。用静物这么一衬托,人事变迁之迅速就感受得格外强烈。这一联表面看来是写景,实际上概括了上下千年社会历史的巨大变化,蕴含着诗人内心无穷的悲慨,历来为人传诵。

  第三联由奔驰的想象折回现实,就眼前景物进一步点染气氛。暮云、寒雨、古堞(城上的矮墙)、空壕,合组成一幅凄清的画面。空寂之中,几声鸦噪,数点雁影,更增添了萧瑟的情味。

  结末又从世事无常推想到神仙的永存。缑(gōu勾)岭,即缑氏山,在今河南偃师东南,距洛阳约百里。传说东周灵王的太子晋修仙得道,在缑氏山头骑鹤升天而去。后人纷纷扰扰,可有谁能象王子晋那样逍遥自在地超脱于尘世变迁之外呢?诗人无法解决这个矛盾,只能用一声叹息来收束全篇。

  许浑生活在唐王朝走向没落的晚唐时代。他追抚山河陈迹,俯仰今古兴废,苍莽历落,感慨深沉,其中隐隐寄寓着一层现实幻灭的悲哀。本篇起得苍凉,接得开阔,对偶工整,句法圆活,在其怀古诗中亦称名作。可惜的是后半篇比较薄弱。颈联虽然刻画工细,但未能翻出新意,缺少转折波澜之势。结尾更落入俗套,调子也嫌低沉无力。

【Simple Translation】

  Luoyang, a famous ancient city, was once the capital of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Cao Wei Dynasty, Western Jin Dynasty and Northern Wei Dynasty. In the time of Emperor Yang of Sui Dynasty, a new city was built 18 miles west of the old city, and in the time of Wu Zetian, it was expanded to become the eastern capital of the Tang Dynasty, and the old city was thus abandoned. Xu Hun’s poem is a poem of remembrance of the old city.

  When he climbs up and sends his eyes, a scene of desolation and decay is shown in front of his eyes: corn is in rows, artemisia grass is everywhere, and the appearance of the old city is no longer visible. The phrase “the harvest and the millet are far away” is derived from the phrase “the millet is far away” at the beginning of the poem “Shi Jing – Millet”. The original poem, according to the traditional interpretation, wrote about the collapse of the former capital after the Zhou royal family moved east, in order to send a message of mourning for the fallen state. It is used here to imply a remembrance of the rise and fall of past dynasties.

  From the decay of the city, the poet turns to the scene when it was built. “The verb “to build a city” is used here to mean to build a city. The “know” of “would not know labor” means to manage. The city has been built by working people with their hands for generations, and it is sad to see it abandoned and ruined.

  The poet’s imagination then moves on to a broader aspect. The phrase “the sound of water going east” is not only a real scene (the city of Luo is close to the northern bank of the Luo River), but also has a double meaning. The Analects records that Confucius once passed by the river and, looking at the gushing water, sighed: “The dead are like the Sifu, who never give up day and night!” The poet also felt the passing of time and the vicissitudes of the human world from the flowing Luo water beneath his feet: the prosperous markets, the flourishing dynastic meetings, the bustling crowds, and the many sad and joyful affairs of the past, all of which are hidden in the sound of the incessant water, and finally dissipated. Thinking about all this, really call people tidal wave of thoughts, the ups and downs are difficult to calm!

  If the “sound of water” is a moving scene, the “mountain” is a static scene, moving and static with a sense of vicissitudes in the dark connection. To the north of Luoyang, there is Mang Mountain, which stretches for more than 400 miles and has become a natural barrier to the ancient capital, overlooking the city from above. In the Eastern Han Dynasty, Liang Hong’s “Song of the Five Wells” cloud: “ascend to the north of the Mangshi, Wells! The city’s capital is a natural barrier! The city’s palace is soaring! The people’s labor is expensive, yeah! The people’s labor is so great.” Now, although the city is no longer the prosperous scene, but the remaining palaces are still towering, as if to history as a witness. The rapid change of people is particularly strong when set against the still life. This couplet seems to be a description of the scenery, but in fact it encapsulates the great changes in social history over the past thousand years, and contains the poet’s endless sadness, which has been recited for many years.

  The third couplet folds back from the imagination of Mercedes-Benz to reality, further tinting the atmosphere with the scene before us. The twilight clouds, the cold rain, the ancient battlements (the low walls of the city) and the empty trenches are combined to form a bleak picture. In the silence, a few crows and geese add to the mood of desolation.

  At the end of the poem, we can think of the eternal existence of the gods from the impermanence of the world. Gou (gōu hook) Ling, that is, Gou’s mountain, in the southeast of the present day Yanshui, Henan Province, about 100 miles from Luoyang. Legend has it that Prince Jin, the prince of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty’s Ling Wang, regained his immortality and rode a crane to heaven at the head of Gou’s mountain. Who can be as free and transcendent from the changes of the world as Prince Jin? The poet is unable to resolve this contradiction and can only conclude the whole piece with a sigh of relief.

  Xu Hun lived in the late Tang Dynasty, which was in decline. He traces the old traces of the mountains and rivers, looks down on the rise and fall of the present and the past, and feels a deep sorrow for the disillusionment of reality. The poem is a masterpiece among his poems about the ancient times, as it starts with a bleak and open beginning, with a neat couplet and rounded syntax. Unfortunately, the second half of the poem is rather weak. Although the neck line is well-drawn, it fails to bring out new ideas and lacks the momentum of twists and turns. The ending falls into a cliché, and the tone is too low and weak.

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