Du Fu Poem: Satire on Fair Ladies – 杜甫《丽人行》

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丽人行

杜甫

三月三日天气新,长安水边多丽人。

态浓意远淑且真[1],肌理细腻骨肉匀。

绣罗衣裳照暮春,蹙[2]金孔雀银麒麟。

头上何所有,翠为㔩叶垂鬓唇[3]

背后何所见,珠压腰衱稳称身[4]

就中云幕椒房亲[5],赐名大国虢与秦[6]

紫驼之峰[7]出翠釜,水精之盘行素鳞。

犀箸厌饫久未下[8],鸾刀缕切空纷纶[9]

黄门飞鞚不动尘[10],御厨络绎送八珍。

箫鼓哀吟感鬼神,宾从杂沓实要津[11]

后来鞍马何逡巡[12],当轩下马入锦茵[13]

杨花雪落覆白苹,青鸟飞去衔红巾。

炙手可热势绝伦[14],慎莫近前丞相嗔。

注释:

[1] “态浓”句:态浓意远,姿态浓艳,神情高远而显得超凡脱俗。淑且真,贤淑而又纯真。

[2] 蹙(cù):古代刺绣的一种手法。在其下接有“金孔雀”和“银麒麟”两个宾语。

[3] “翠为”句:翠为㔩叶,用翠玉制成的妇女发髻上的雕花饰物。鬓唇,鬓角边。

[4] “珠压”句:衱(jié),衣服后面的大襟。稳称身,珠玉压住后襟,使它下垂,显得衣服非常妥帖合身。

[5] “就中”句:就中,宫内。云幕椒房,都指后妃居住的内宫。

[6] 虢(ɡuó)与秦:杨贵妃有三个姊妹,大姐嫁给崔家封为韩国夫人,三姐嫁给裴家封为虢国夫人,八姐嫁给柳家封为秦国夫人,这里用“虢与秦”指代杨氏姊妹。

[7] 紫驼之峰:紫驼背上高突的肉峰。

[8] “犀箸”句:犀箸,用犀牛角制作的筷子。厌饫(yù),饱足。

[9] “鸾刀”句:鸾刀,环上有鸾铃的刀。缕切,切脍如丝缕般精细。纷纶,忙乱。

[10] “黄门”句:黄门,太监。飞鞚(kònɡ),鞚指马笼头,这里指马飞驰。

[11] “宾从”句:宾从,讨好杨氏一家的趋炎附势之人。杂沓(tà),杂乱而众多。实要津,津原指渡口,这里指担任各方面的重要职位。

[12] 逡(qūn)巡:神气飞扬,旁若无人的样子。

[13] 锦茵:地上铺有锦褥。

[14] “炙手”句:炙手可热,气焰嚣张,触之熏灼。绝伦,无人可比。

Satire on Fair Ladies

Du Fu

The weather’s fine in the third moon on the third day,

By riverside so many beauties in array.

Each of the ladies has a fascinating face,

Their skin is delicate, their manner full of grace.

Embroidered with peacocks and unicorns in gold,

Their dress in rich silks shines so bright when spring is old.

What do they wear on the head?

Emerald pendant leaves hang down in silver thread.

What do you see from behind?

How nice-fitting are their waist bands with pearls combined.

Among them there’re the emperor’s favorite kin,

Ennobled Duchess of Guo comes with Duchess of Qin.

What do they eat?

The purple meat of camels hump cooked in green cauldron as a dish;

On crystal plate is served snow-white slices of raw fish.

See rhino chopsticks the satiated eaters stay,

And untouched morsels carved by belled knives on the tray.

When eunuchs’ horses come running, no dust is raised;

They bring still more rare dishes delicious to the taste.

Listen to soul-stirring music of flutes and drums!

On the main road an official retinue comes.

A rider ambles on saddled horse, the last of all,

He alights, treads on satin carpet, enters the hall.

The willow down-like snow falls on the duckweed white;

The blue bird picking red handkerchief goes in flight.

The prime minister’s powerful without a peer.

His angry touch would bum your hand. Do not come near!

This is a satire against the emperor’s favorite Lady Yang and her sisters and their brother who became the Prime Minister. The poet describes their beauty, their dress, their food. He hints at the incest by the frivolous willow-down and the blue bird which carries secret amorous message for them.

《丽人行》是唐代大诗人杜甫的作品,约作于唐天宝十二载(753年)。此诗通过描写杨氏兄妹曲江春游的情景,揭露了统治者荒淫腐朽作威作福的丑态,从一个角度反映了安史之乱前夕的社会现实。诗分三段:先泛写游春仕女的体态之美和服饰之盛,引出主角杨氏姐妹的娇艳姿色;次写宴饮的豪华及所得的宠幸;末写杨国忠的骄横。全诗场面宏大,鲜艳富丽,笔调细腻生动,讽刺含蓄不露,通篇只是写“丽人”们的生活情形,却达到了如前人所说“无一刺讥语,描摹处语语刺讥;无一慨叹声,点逗处声声慨叹”的艺术效果。

This poem was written around 753 by Du Fu, a great poet of the Tang Dynasty. By describing the spring excursions of the Yang siblings in Qujiang River, the poem exposes the scandalous attitude of the rulers who were despicable and corrupt, and reflects the social reality on the eve of the An-Shi Rebellion from one perspective. The poem is divided into three sections: first, a general description of the beauty of the ladies’ bodies and their costumes, leading to the delicate beauty of the Yang sisters; second, the luxury of the banquet and the favors they received; and finally, the arrogance of Yang Guozhong. The whole poem is a grand scene, bright and rich, with delicate and vivid tone, and the irony is not exposed, the whole poem is just about the life of the “ladies”, but it achieves, as the previous writer said, “there is no sarcasm, the description of the words sarcasm; there is no lamentation, the point of the lamentation”. The artistic effect.

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