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  • Julia Min

行香子.清夜无尘The Night Is Pure


原作: 苏轼(11世纪北宋)

英译旧版: 戈登.奥赛茵, 闵晓红, 黄海鹏(1990)

英版修改: 闵晓红(2023)









The Night Is Pure

- To the tune of Xingxiangzi

written by: Su Shi (1084)

1st En. trans. by: G. Osing, J. Min & H. Huang (1990)

En. revision by: Julia Min (2023)

The night is pure, the moonlight silver.

Make sure my cup is filled, overfilled.

Fame and fortune, just bubbles in air,

--- a flash, a dream, or a spark of fire.

I had worlds to say, but who will share?

Glad as I can, content to be entertained.

I’d rather be away, free of worldly care,

just my qin, my wine and a misty river.


This ci could be composed after he was back at the Royal Court in 1086. It was at dinner with an old bosom friend when Su Shi, after some wine, succeeded in rejecting the contemporary official morality and the falseness of the public civil service. His inclination was to retire after achieving his career goal, but he was still unappreciated for his political ideas. Now what? Maybe just forget about the world and embrace a carefree life with friends, with music in nature… …

The musical qin, of course, is the Chinese poetic equivalent of the lyre, in its associations with poetry. Great authors were frequently represented by the presence of a qin in the background of a painting.


Blooming Alone in Winter by Gordon Osing, Julia Min and Huang Haipeng,published by the People's Publication House Henan Province in 1990 (《寒心未肯随春态》戈登.奥赛茵,闵晓红,黄海鹏) ("The night is pure, free of the commotions of dust, the moonlight silver./Pouring the wine into my cup, I’d see it over-filled./What a waste to slave in vain for fame and profit, both bubbles…/A white steed racing in a rift -- stone sparks -- a dream of self.//For though I had worlds in mind to say to others, who will share?/Be glad as you can, my heart, content to be simply entertained. /When can I return to my mountains, be unofficial, freed/To face my old qin, a pot of wine, and a stream of clouds. ")

2. painting from Google;



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