Chinese Poems: The Moon Shines Bright at Dead of Night – 《明月皎夜光》

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明月皎夜光

无名氏

明月皎夜光,促织[1]鸣东壁。

玉衡[2]指孟冬,众星何历历。

白露沾野草,时节忽复易。

秋蝉鸣树间,玄鸟逝安适。

昔我同门友[3],高举振六翮[4]。

不念携手好,弃我如遗迹。

南箕北有斗,牵牛不负轭[5]。

良无盘石固,虚名复何益?

注释:

[1] 促织:蟋蟀的别名。蟋蟀的鸣声标志着秋天的到来,到妇女们忙着织寒衣的时候了。

[2] 玉衡:北斗七星之一。

[3] 同门友:同在师门学习的朋友。

[4] 高举振六翮:奋翅高飞,用以比喻同门友的得志。

[5] 负轭:轭是架在牛马颈上的横,负轭在这里代指牵牛星。

The Moon Shines Bright at Dead of Night

Anonymous

The moon shines bright at dead of night;

The crickets chirp by eastern wall.

The Plough’s bar points to winter white;

Stars can be counted one and all.

Wild grass wet with dew far and nigh,

How fast seasons change and come back!

Among the trees cicadas cry.

Where are south-flying swallows black?

Now I remember my compeers

Soaring on high into the cloud.

Forgetting friends of bygone years,

They leave me like trace of the crowd.

The Northern and Southern stars mock

At Winnow Star which sifts no grain.

No friendship is as firm as rock.

What’s the use to have names in vain!

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