Bai Juyi Poem: Song of a Pipa Player – 白居易《琵琶行》

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琵琶行

白居易

浔阳江[1]头夜送客,

枫叶荻花[2]秋瑟瑟。

主人下马客在船,

举酒欲饮无管弦。

醉不成欢惨将别,

别时茫茫江浸月。

忽闻水上琵琶声,

主人忘归客不发。

寻声暗问弹者谁?

琵琶声停欲语迟[3]

移船相近邀相见,

添酒回灯重开宴。

千呼万唤始出来,

犹抱琵琶半遮面。

转轴拨弦三两声,

未成曲调先有情。

弦弦掩抑声声思,

似诉平生不得志。

低眉信手续续弹,

说尽心中无限事。

轻拢慢捻抹复挑[4]

初为《霓裳》后《六幺》[5]

大弦嘈嘈如急雨[6]

小弦切切如私语。

嘈嘈切切[7]错杂弹,

大珠小珠落玉盘。

间关莺语花底滑[8]

幽咽泉流水下滩[9]

水泉冷涩弦凝绝,

凝绝不通声暂歇。

别有幽愁暗恨生,

此时无声胜有声。

银瓶乍破水浆迸[10]

铁骑突出刀枪鸣。

曲终收拨当心画[11]

四弦一声如裂帛。

东船西舫悄无言,

唯见江心秋月白。

沉吟放拨插弦中[12]

整顿衣裳起敛容。

自言本是京城女,

家在虾蟆陵[13]下住。

十三学得琵琶成,

名属教坊第一部[14]

曲罢常教善才伏[15]

妆成每被秋娘[16]妒。

五陵年少争缠头[17]

一曲红绡[18]不知数。

钿头银篦击节碎[19]

血色罗裙翻酒污。

今年欢笑复明年,

秋月春风等闲度。

弟走从军阿姨死,

暮去朝来颜色故。

门前冷落车马稀,

老大嫁作商人妇。

商人重利轻别离,

前月浮梁[20]买茶去。

去来江口守空船,

绕船月明江水寒。

夜深忽梦少年事,

梦啼妆泪红阑干[21]

我闻琵琶已叹息,

又闻此语重唧唧[22]

同是天涯沦落人,

相逢何必曾相识!

我从去年辞帝京,

谪居卧病浔阳城。

浔阳地僻无音乐,

终岁不闻丝竹声。

住近湓江地低湿,

黄芦苦竹绕宅生。

其间旦暮闻何物?

杜鹃[23]啼血猿哀鸣。

春江花朝秋月夜,

往往取酒还独倾。

岂无山歌与村笛?

呕哑嘲哳[24]难为听。

今夜闻君琵琶语,

如听仙乐耳暂明。

莫辞更坐弹一曲,

为君翻作[25]琵琶行。

感我此言良久立,

却坐[26]促弦弦转急。

凄凄不似向前声,

满座重闻皆掩泣。

座中泣下谁最多,

江州司马[27]青衫湿。

注释:

[1] 浔阳江:长江流经浔阳郡境内的一段。

[2] 荻(dí)花:荻是水生植物,秋天开草黄色花。

[3] 欲语迟:想回答又有些迟疑。

[4] “轻拢”句:弹奏的各种手法。

[5] 《霓裳》:《霓裳羽衣曲》,据说是开元时从印度传入的,原名“婆罗门”,经唐明皇润色并改此名。作者还有《霓裳羽衣舞歌》,对此有较详细的描写。《六幺》:琵琶曲名。也作“绿腰”,原名“录要”,以乐工进曲录其要点而得名,是当时流行的曲调。

[6] “大弦”二句:指琵琶四弦(或五弦)中最粗的弦,小弦指细弦。

[7] “嘈嘈切切”:嘈嘈,形容低重之音。切切,形容轻细之音。

[8] “间关”句:间关,鸟鸣声。滑,形容乐声婉转流畅。

[9] 水下滩:以泉水流下滩受阻形容乐声艰涩低沉、呜咽断续。一作“冰水滩”。

[10] “银瓶”二句:形容曲调暂歇之后,忽然急促高亢,又进入高潮。

[11] “曲终”二句:描写演奏结束时,演奏者用拨子对着四弦的中心用力一划,琵琶声像猛然撕开布帛时发出的声响。

[12] “沉吟”二句:沉吟,沉思回味。敛容,整理情绪,从音乐意境中收回心来,表现出严肃而又恭敬的神态。

[13] 虾蟆陵:在长安城东南曲江附近,是歌女聚居的地方。旧说董仲舒葬此,门人经过这里,都下马步行,所以叫下马陵。后人误传为虾蟆陵。

[14] “名属”句:教坊,唐高祖时设置的宫内教练歌舞的机构,唐玄宗又设内教坊和左教坊、右教坊。这位弹琵琶的娼女当是挂名教坊,临时入宫供奉的。第一部,首席乐队。

[15] 伏:通服;敬佩。

[16] 秋娘:当时的一位名妓。

[17] “五陵”句:五陵年少,富贵人家子弟。五陵,指汉代的长陵、安陵、阳陵、茂陵、平陵,都在长安城北,是汉朝王公贵族的聚居处。缠头,古代赏赠给歌人舞女的丝织品。争缠头,争先恐后地送缠头。

[18] 红绡:红色绫缎。

[19] “钿头”句:钿,用金玉珠宝等制成的花朵形的首饰。银蓖,银制的篦子,也是一种首饰。银一作云篦。击节碎,用贵重首饰打拍子,碎了也不可惜。

[20] 浮梁:唐天宝间改设的县,治所在今江西景德镇北浮梁。是个茶叶贸易中心。

[21] “梦啼”句:妆泪,脂粉和眼泪混在一起。阑干,(泪水)纵横。

[22] 重唧唧:重,更加。唧唧,叹息。

[23] 杜鹃:又名子规,鸣声凄切。相传古蜀国的一位国君名叫杜宇,又称望帝,死后魂化杜鹃,鸣声凄切,常常啼叫得口角流血。

[24] 呕哑嘲哳:形容乐声杂乱难听。

[25] 翻作:按曲填写歌词。

[26] 却坐:重新坐下。

[27] 江州司马:作者自指。

Song of a Pipa Player
Bai Juyi
One night by riverside I bade a friend goodbye;
In maple leaves and rushes autumn seemed to sigh.
My friend and I dismounted and came into the boat;
We wished to drink but there was no music afloat.
Without flute songs we drank our cups with heavy heart;
The moonbeams blended with water when we were to part.
Suddenly o’er the stream we heard a pipa sound;
I forgot to go home and the guest stood spell-bound.
We followed where the music led to find the player,
But heard the pipa stop and no music in the air.
We moved our boat towards the one whence came the strain,
Brought back the lamp, asked for more wine and drank again.
Repeatedly we called for the fair player till
She came, her face half hidden behind a pipa still.
She turned the pegs and tested twice or thrice each string;
Before a tune was played we heard her feelings sing.
Each string she plucked, each note she struck with pathos strong,
All seemed to say she’d missed her dreams all her life long.
Head bent, she played with unpremeditated art
On and on to pour out her overflowing heart.
She lightly plucked, slowly stroked and twanged loud
The song of “Green Waist” after that of “Rainbow Cloud” .
The thick strings loudly thrummed like the pattering rain;
The fine strings softly tinkled in a murmuring strain.
When mingling loud and soft notes were together played,
You heard large and small pearls cascade on plate of jade.
Now you heard orioles warble in flowery land,
Then a sobbing stream run along a beach of sand.
But the stream seemed so cold as to tighten the string;
From tightened strings no more sound could be heard to sing.
Still we heard hidden grief and vague regret concealed;
Then music expressed far less than silence revealed.
Suddenly we heard water burst a silver jar,
And the clash of spears, and sabers come from afar.
She made a central sweep when the music was ending;
The four strings made one sound, as of silk one was rending.
Silence reigned left and right of the boat, east and west;
We saw but autumn moon white in the river’s breast.
She slid the plectrum pensively between the strings,
Smoothed out her dress and rose with a composed mien.
“I spent,” she said, “in the capital my early springs,
Where at the foot of Mount of Toads my home had been.
At thirteen I learned on the pipa how to play,
And my name was among the primas of the day.
I won my master’s admiration for my skill;
My beauty was envied by songstresses fair still.
The gallant young men vied to shower gifts on me;
One tune played, countless silk rolls were given with glee.
Beating time, I let silver comb and pin drop down,
And spilt-out wine oft stained my blood-red silken gown.
From year to year I laughed my joyous life away
On moonlit autumn night as windy vernal day.
My younger brother left for war, and died my maid;
Days passed, nights came, and my beauty began to fade.
Fewer and fewer were cabs and steeds at my door;
I married a smug merchant when my prime was o’er.
The merchant cared for money much more than for me;
One month ago he went away to purchase tea,
Leaving his lonely wife alone in empty boat;
Shrouded in moonlight, on the cold river I float.
Deep in the night I dreamed of happy bygone years,
And woke to find my rouged face crisscrossed with tears.”
Listening to her sad music, I sighed with pain;
Hearing her story, I sighed again and again.
Both of us in misfortune go from shore to shore.
Meeting now, need we have known each other before?
“I was banished from the capital last year
To live degraded and ill in this city here.
The city’s too remote to know melodious song,
So I have never heard music all the year long.
l dwell by riverbank on a low and damp ground
In a house with wild reeds and stunted bamboos around.
What is here to be heard from daybreak till nightfall
But gibbon’s cry and cuckoo’s homeward-going call?
By blooming riverside and under autumn moon
l’ve often taken wine up and drunk it alone.
Though I have mountain songs and village pipes to hear,
Yet they are crude and strident and grate on the ear.
Listening to you playing on pipa tonight,
With your music divine e’en my hearing seems bright.
Will you sit down and play for us a tune once more?
I’ll write for you an ode to the pipa I adore.”
Touched by what I said, the player stood for long,
Then sat down, tore at strings and played another song.
So sad, so drear, so different, it moved us deep;
Those who heard it hid the face and began to weep.
Of all the company at table who wept most?
It was none other than the exiled blue-robed host.
This is one of the most popular songs of the Tang Dynasty in which the poet describes a musician and her music.

《琵琶行》是唐代诗人白居易创作的长篇叙事诗。此诗通过对琵琶女高超弹奏技艺和她不幸经历的描述,揭露了封建社会官僚腐败、民生凋敝、人才埋没等不合理现象,表达了诗人对琵琶女的深切同情,也抒发了诗人对自己无辜被贬的愤懑之情。全诗叙事与抒情紧密结合,塑造出完整鲜明的人物形象;语言流转匀称,优美和谐,特别是描绘琵琶的演奏,比喻贴切,化虚为实,呈现出鲜明的音乐形象。

“Song of a Pipa Player” is a long narrative poem written by Bai Juyi, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. Through the description of the pipa girl’s excellent playing skills and her unfortunate experience, the poem exposes the unreasonable phenomena of bureaucratic corruption, depleted livelihood and buried talents in the feudal society, and expresses the poet’s deep sympathy for the pipa girl as well as his indignation at his innocent deportation. The poem’s narrative and lyricism are closely integrated, creating a complete and distinctive characterization; the language is well-proportioned, beautiful and harmonious, especially in the depiction of the pipa’s performance, with apt metaphors, turning the imaginary into the real, presenting a distinctive musical image.

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