Key: Pa Shêng Kan Chou
I watched the pelting evening rain spraying
It’s droplets to the river over the sky reflection;
It washed the autumn air ever so refreshing.
Soon the frosty winds will be more harsh and bitter;
The city gate and river bank will both be deserted,
Leaving the last sun beams upon the gate tower casting.
There are lesser and lesser red and green left to be seen,
And come to rest now are things hitherto flourishing.
Only the water in the Yangtze River,
Toward the east still silently flowing.
I don’t have the heart to mount the height for a far view,
To look at the direction of my far away home land,
For it would only arouse my nostalgia to no ending.
Alas! All the years of my traveling,
For what reason am I still a vagabond remaining?
To think of my beloved,
In her upstairs chamber all day watching,
How many times she’d mistaken,
The junk at the horizon as one for my home-coming?
Wouldn’t she know that,
As I leaning at the balustrade now,
The sadness for missing her is overwhelming?
Ba Sheng Gan Zhou
Before me the heavy evening rain splashes the river-sky,
Washing a limpid autumn.
The frosty winds are gaining in force,
The forts and creeks look deserted,
And a sinking sun fills the upper floors.
Out there, red has faded and green is diminished.
Slowly, nature takes its decreasing course.
Only the water in the Long River*, ever speechless,
’Tis unbearable to climb high and look far.
My native place is lost in mist,
But the thought of returning is hard to rein in.
I sigh at my travels over the years:
What is there that has kept me?
My lady fair – she must have been looking from her chamber
But has been disappointed so many times
To try to pick out my ship on the horizon.
How would she know
That leaning on the balustrade here,
My sadness has turned into one solid mass.
* The Yangtze, called the Long River in Chinese.
At evening the pelting rain sprinkles the river and the skies,
Rinsing the autumn pure and clear.
The frosty wind grows cold and fierce,
The passes and fords become more desolate
With the setting sun upon the watchtowers.
Here red is gone and green in decay;
Luxuriant nature draws near its close.
Only the might river
Runs in silence eastwards to the sea.
I cannot bear gazing from high places
On my native country far, far away,
While my breast is cracking with homesickness.
I wonder, alas! Why my footsteps
Have me tarry year by year.
The fair one, I think,
Must have watched at her chamber window
And mistaken many a homeward boat on the horizon,
Not knowing here I lean over the balcony,
Lost in heavy thoughts.
Facing me, the blustering evening rain besprinkles the sky over the river,
Washing the cool autumn air once more.
Gradually, the frosty wind rises chilly and hard,
The landscape looks more forlorn,
The fading sun falls on the balcony.
Everywhere, the red withers and the green fades away:
One by one, the glories of Nature cease.
Only the water of the Long River
Flows in silence to the east.
I cannot bear to climb high and look far,
For to gaze at my native land in the dim distance
Would release endless homeward thoughts.
I sigh over the past year’s wanderings;
Why should I desperately linger on?
I imagine the fair one
Is now gazing, head raised, from her chamber.
How often has she
Mistaken a returning boat on the horizon for mine?
How would she know that I,
Leaning here on the railings,
Should be congealed with sorrow like this?
（James J. Y. Liu 译）
Bashengganzhou · Homesick
The e’ening rain is ceaselessly falling from the sky,
’Tis washing the autumn air fresh far and nigh.
The cold frosts fill the air and blows wind chill,
So desolate and bare are the front river and hill.
The setting sun shines over the bower,
Flowers and leaves are all the beautiful scenes.
Only the Great River* keeps
On eastwards surging in silence.
I can’t bear to ascend high for looking far away,
’Cause my hometown is out of sight,
And I’m longing for home all the way.
Sighing over my wanderings for many a year,
I wonder why I’ve stayed so long here!
My beloved must be looking afar from her bower,
Mistaking other returning boats for mine again and ’gain.
Leaning upon the rail,
I’m lost in a great woe,
But how could she know?
* The Great River, the Yangtze River.