Fan Heng Poem: Song of Grave-digging – 范梈《掘冢歌》

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掘冢[1]歌

[元]范梈

昨日旧冢掘,

今日新冢成。

冢前两翁仲[2],

送前还迎新。

旧魂未出新魂入,

旧魂还对新魂泣。

旧魂丁宁[3]语新魂,

好地不用多子孙。

子孙绵绵如不绝,

曾孙不掘玄孙掘。

我今掘矣良可悲,

不知君掘又何时。

注释:

[1]冢:坟墓。

[2]翁仲:传说阮翁仲为秦代一丈三尺的巨人,秦始皇命他守边,匈奴人很怕他。他死后,秦始皇下令仿照其形状铸成铜人。这里指墓地前的石像。

[3]丁宁:通“叮咛”,反复嘱咐。

Song of Grave-digging

Fan Heng

The old grave dug out yesterday,

The new grave is dug right away.

Two graveside statues bid adieu

To the old and welcome the new.

The old soul not yet gone, the new one comes in deep;

Before the new comes, the old would bitterly weep.

The old soul tells the new one again and again:

You need not many off springs if graves good remain.

If your off springs unceasingly come one by one,

Your grave will be dug out one day by your grandson.

It is sad for my grave today to be dug out.

I know not when it’s your turn to complain about.

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