Li Shangyin Poem: On Lady Yang’s Death (Ⅱ) – 李商隐《马嵬二首》

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马嵬[1]二首(其二)

李商隐

海外[2]徒闻更九州[3]

他生未卜此生休。

空闻虎旅[4]鸣宵柝[5]

无复鸡人[6]报晓筹。

此日六军同驻马,

当时七夕笑牵牛。

如何四纪[7]为天子,

不及卢家有莫愁[8]

注释:

[1] 马嵬(wéi):指马嵬驿,位于陕西西安兴平县西。安史之乱中这里发生兵变,兵变中陈玄礼迫使唐玄宗诛杀杨国忠和杨贵妃。

[2] 海外:相传,唐玄宗思念杨贵妃,道士在海外仙山寻找到贵妃,在唐诗人白居易的《长恨歌》和陈鸿《长恨歌传》中有详细记载。

[3] 九州:战国邹衍曾经说,中国只是赤县神州,海外还有像中国这样大小的九个州。

[4] 虎旅:古人称勇士为“虎贲”,这里虎旅指跟随玄宗逃难的禁军。

[5] 宵柝(tuò):指夜晚报更人所敲的木梆。

[6] 鸡人:皇宫中一般不养鸡,而是设有报时的卫士,每当到了鸡叫的时候,就到宫中报晓,所以被称为“鸡人”。

[7] 四纪:一纪为十二年,四纪就是四十八年。唐玄宗在位四十五年,这里取成数。

[8] 卢家有莫愁:南朝梁萧衍的《河中之水歌》中记载,有个洛阳女子叫莫愁,后来嫁给了卢家。

On Lady Yang’s Death (Ⅱ)

Li Shangyin

Tis said there is a fairyland over the sea.

When this life is no more, can there another be?

In vain the watchman beat at night the warning gong;

No cock would wake her from dream with morning song.

The six armies demanded her death left and right.

Could she still laugh at severed lover-stars at night?

Though the emperor reigned as long as forty years,

She’s not so happy as a griefless maid appears.

Lady Yang was the favorite mistress of the Bright Emperor of the Tang Dynasty. When the six armies in revolt demanded her death, the emperor could not protect her.

 

《马嵬二首》是唐代诗人李商隐创作的两首咏史诗,一为七绝,一为七律。这两首诗都以李隆基(唐玄宗)、杨玉环(杨贵妃)的故事为抒情对象,隐含对唐玄宗的强烈批评之意,表现了作者的过人胆识。两首诗互相联系,诗中运用映衬手法,对比强烈,语言精练警策,余味悠长。

Two poems on Mawei are two poems on history written by Li Shangyin, a poet of the Tang Dynasty, one in seven stanzas and the other in seven rhymes. Both poems take the story of Li Longji (Emperor Xuanzong of Tang) and Yang Yuhuan (Yang Guifei) as their lyrical objects, implying a strong criticism of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang, and showing the author’s great courage. The two poems are interconnected, and the poem uses the technique of contrast, and the language is concise and cautionary, with a long aftertaste.

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