Ci 望海潮·东南形胜 | Watching for the Sea’s Tide: The Southeast Lands Lie Favorably



望海潮·东南形胜


柳永 (984 — 1053)



东南形胜,三吴都会,钱塘自古繁华。


烟柳画桥,风帘翠幕,参差十万人家。


云树绕堤沙,怒涛卷霜雪,天堑无涯。


市列珠玑,户盈罗绮,竞豪奢。



重湖叠巘清嘉,有三秋桂子,十里荷花。


羌管弄晴,菱歌泛夜,嬉嬉钓叟莲娃。


千骑拥高牙,乘醉听箫鼓,吟赏烟霞。


异日图将好景,归去凤池夸。



Watching for the Sea’s Tide: The Southeast Lands Lie Favorably


Liu Yong (984 – 762)



The southeast lands lie favorably | their three Wu prefectures form a metropolis | Qiantang (the capital) has been flourishing since ancient times.


Misty willows, ornate bridges | windbreaking curtains, turquoise draperies | a sprawl of a seeming hundred thousand households.


Great trees line earthen dyke | raging waves gather frostlike foam | the deep Qiantang River runs on forever.


Markets show pearls and gemstones | homes pile silks and fineries | they vie for extravagance.



The divided lake and rolling peaks are striking, beautiful | they boast osmanthus flowers in autumn and lotus blooms for acres.


Sound of reed pipes pierces clear day | song of water chestnut harvesters envelops night | merrily, merrily old men catch fish and young women harvest lotus!


High official’s entourage throngs ivory banner-pole | tipsy drinkers listen to flute and drum | sing verse and admire the picturesque scenery!


One day be these lovely sights depicted | on return to Imperial court they shall be flaunted.



Translated by Nathan Stoltzfus, with consultation from ChinaFetching.com.