ZHINÜ - Project 2005

织女  牛郞  七夕

 

Poetry

 

From 詩集 Shi Jing (Shih-ching), Book II,5.(203) ("The Book of Songs" ed. Waley,A.,1937.L.21954) hymns of the Zhou Dynasty, sixth to the third centuries B.C.E., among the earliest poems in the Chinese language:

 

詩集 SHI JING (The Book of Odes)

小雅 XIAO YA (Minor Odes of the Kingdom)

小旻之什 XIAO MIN ZHI SHI (Decade of Xiao Min)

9.Ode 大東 DA DONG (Great East)

 

維天有漢、監亦有光。

跂彼織女、終日七襄。

雖則七襄、不成報章。

睆彼牽牛、不以服箱。

 

In Heaven there is a River Han
Looking down upon us so bright.
By it sits the Weaving Lady astride her stool,
Seven times a day she rolls up her sleeves.

But though seven times she rolls up her sleeves
She never makes wrap or skirt.
Bright shines that Draught Ox,
But can't be used for yoking to a cart.

 

 

From 古詩十九首 Gushi Shijiu Shou ("Nineteen Old Poems") of the Eastern Han 东汉 Dynasty(25 B.C.E. - 220 C.E.):

 

古詩十九首 GUSHI SHIJIU SHOU (Nineteen Old Poems)

之十 ZHI SHI (no.10)

 

迢迢牽牛星,皎皎河漢女。

纖纖擢素手,札札弄機杼。

終日不成章,泣涕零如雨。

河漢清且淺,相去復几許。

盈盈一水間,脈脈不得語。

 

zhī sh

Tiotio qiānnixīng, jiǎojiǎo hhn nǚ.
Xiānxiān zhu s shǒu, zhāzhā nng jī zh.
Zhōng r b chng zhāng, q t lng r yǔ.
Hhn qīng qiě qiǎn, xiāng q f jǐ xǔ?
Yngyng y shuǐ jiān, mm b d yǔ.

 

Poem #10:

Far away twinkles the Herd-boy star;
Brightly shines the Lady of the Han River.
Slender, slender she plies her white fingers;
Click, click goes the shuttle of her loom.
 
At the end of the day she has not finished her task;
Her bitter tears fall like streaming rain.
The Han River runs shallow and clear;
Set between them, how short a space!
But the river water will not let them pass,
Gazing at each other but never able to speak.

alternate translations:

The star of the Cowboy high above; the star of the Weaving Girl clear and bright,
Her fair and dexterous hands busy, she weaves and weaves on the loom,
A day went by with no cloth finished; only tears rained down her cheeks in great volume.
The Silvery River clear and shallow, how far could they be apart?
Yet, separated by the sparkling waters, they could but face each other with silent gloom.

------------------

There is the milky way in heaven,
Which looks down on us in light;
And the three stars together are the Weaving Sisters,
Passing in a day through seven stages [of the sky].
Although they go through their seven stages,
They complete no bright work for us.
Brilliant shine the Draught Oxen,
But they do not serve to draw our carts.

(excerpt)

 

 

Que Qiao Xian 鹊桥仙 ("Immortal at the Magpie Bridge") by Qin Guan 秦观 (1049-1100), one of the most outstanding writers of c song-lyrics 词诗 of the Northern Song 北宋 (960-1127) Dynasty Huajian style.

 

鹊桥仙 QUE QIAO XIAN (Immortal at the magpie bridge)

 

纤云弄巧,飞星传恨,银汉迢迢暗度。

金风玉露一相逢,便胜却人间无数。

柔情似水,佳期如梦,忍顾鹊桥归路。

两情若是久长时,又岂在朝朝暮暮。

 

 

Qu Qio Xiān

Xiān yn nng qiǎo, fēi xīng chun hn, ynhn tiotio n d.
Jīn fēng y l, y xiāng fng, bin shng qu rnjiān w sh.
Ru qng s shuǐ, jiāqī r mng, rěn g quqio guī l.
Liǎng qng ru sh jiǔ chng sh, yu qǐ zi zhāo zhāo m m.

Listen to the words

 

Immortal at the Magpie Bridge

Clouds float like works of art;
Stars shoot with grief at heart.
Across the Milky way the Cowherd meets the Maid.
When Autumn's Golden Wind embraces Dew of Jade,
All the love scenes on earth, however many, fade.
 
Their tender love flows like a stream;
This happy date seems but a dream.
How can they bear a separate homeward way?
If love between both sides can last for aye,
Why need they stay together night and day?

alternate translations:

Dainty clouds she weaves with her dexterous hands, her grief of separation conveyed by the shooting stars.
Crossing Milky Way the river vast, the couple meets in secrecy.
Amidst golden wind and silvery frost they meet once a year, a meeting more affectionate than countless earthly rendezvous.
Feelings as tender as water, a date as fleeting as a dream, how could they find in their heart to look back at their homeward journey?
When love is genuine and long lasting, it matters not if a couple stays together day and night

 

FAIRY OF THE MAGPIE BRIDGE
 
Among the beautiful clouds,
Over the heavenly river,
Crosses the weaving maiden.
 
A night of rendezvous,
Across the autumn sky,
Surpasses joy on earth.
 
Moments of tender love and dream,
So sad to leave the magpie bridge.
 
Eternal love between us two,
Shall withstand the time apart.

Translation by Kylie Hsu

 

 

From the 万葉集 Manyōshū ("10000 leaves compilation") the largest and earliest collection of japanese poetry including 4516 poems, compiled almost solely at the hand of a contemporary poet, Otomo no Yakamochi 大伴家持 (718-785), finished 749 CE:

 

 
Tanabata no koyoi ainaba tune no goto
Asu wo hedatete toshi wa nagaken

The evening we meet
Tanabata is endless
Tomorrow starts another year
Which seems to be endless too

 

 

The 8 other poems by Otomo no Yakamochi 大伴家持 from the Manyōshū 万葉集, Book 20 第二十巻 :

 

4306

 

波都秋風須受之伎由布弊等香武等曽比毛波牟須妣之伊母尓安波牟多米

 

4307

 

秋等伊閇婆 許己呂曽伊多伎 宇多弖家尓 花仁奈蘇倍弖 見麻久保里香聞

 

4308

 

波都乎婆奈 <々々>尓見牟登之 安麻乃可波 弊奈里尓家良之 年緒奈我久

 

4309

 

秋風尓 奈妣久可波備能 尓故具左能 尓古餘可尓之母 於毛保由流香母

 

4310

 

安吉佐礼婆 奇里多知和多流 安麻能河波 伊之奈弥於可<婆> 都藝弖見牟可母

 

4311

 

伊麻香伊麻可等比母等伎弖宇良麻知乎流尓月可多夫伎奴

 

I stay here waiting for him
in the autumn wind, my sash untied,
wondering, is he coming now,
is he coming now?
And the moon is low in the sky.

 

4312

 

秋草尓於久之良都由能安可受能未安比見流毛乃乎月乎之麻多牟

 

4313

 

安乎奈美尓 蘇弖佐閇奴礼弖 許具布祢乃 可之布流保刀尓 左欲布氣奈武可

 

 

Note: the complete Manyōshū poems are available from Japanese Text Initiative / Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library

 

 

Another Tanabata poem by Otomo no Yakamochi 大伴家持 written, while gazing at the Milky Way, on the 7th night of the 7th month of the 10th year of Tampyô (AD 738):

Hisakata no
Ama no kawasé ni,
Funé ukété,
Koyoï ka kimi ga
Agari kimasan?

Over the Rapids of the Everlasting Heaven, floating in his boat, my lord will doubtless deign to come to me this very night

Kazé kumo wa
Futatsu no kishi ni
Kayoëdomo,
Waga toho-tsuma no
Koto zo kayowanu !

Though winds and clouds to either bank may freely come or go, between myself and my far-away spouse no message whatever may pass.

Tsubuté ni mo
Nagé koshitsu-béki,
Amanogawa
Hédatéréba ka mo,
Amata subé-naki!

To the opposite bank one might easily fling a pebble; yet, being separated from him by the River of Heaven, alas! to hope for a meeting (except in autumn) is utterly useless

Aki-kazé no
Fukinishi hi yori
"Itsushika" to --- ;
Waga machi koïshi
Kimi zo kimaséru.

From the day that the autumn wind began to blow (I kept saying to myself), "Ah! when shall we meet?" --- but now my beloved, for whom I waited and longed, has come indeed!

Amanogawa
Ito kawa-nami wa
Tatanédomo,
Samorai gatashi ---
Chikaki kono sé wo.

Though the waters of the River of Heaven have not greatly risen, (yet to cross) this near stream and to wait upon (my lord and lover) remains impossible.

Sodé furaba
Mi mo kawashitsu-béku
Chika-kerédo,
Wataru subé nashi,
Aki nishi aranéba.

Though she is so near that the waving of her (long) sleeves can be distinctly seen, yet there is no way to cross the stream before the season of autumn.

Kagéroï no
Honoka ni miété
Wakarénaba; ---
Motonaya koïn
Aü-toki madé wa!

When we were separated, I had seen her for a moment only, --- and dimly as one sees a flying midge; now I must vainly long for her as before, until time of our next meeting!

Hikoboshi no
Tsuma mukaë-buné
Kogizurashi, ---
Ama-no-Kawara ni
Kiri no tatéru wa.

Me thinks that Hikoboshi must be rowing his boat to meet his wife, --- for a mist (as of oar-spray) is rising over the course of the Heavenly Stream.

Kasumi tatsu
Ama-no-Kawara ni,
Kimi matsu to, ---
Ikay hodo ni
Mono-suso nurenu.

While awaiting my lord on the misty shore of the River of Heaven, the skirts of my robe have somehow bacome wet.

Amanogwa,
Mi-tsu no nami oto
Sawagu-nari:
Waga matsu-kimi no
Funadé-surashi mo.

On the River Of Heaven, at the place of the august ferry, the sound of the water has become loud: perhaps my long-awaitad lord will soon be coming in his boat.

Tanabata no
Sodé maku yoï no
Akatoki wa,
Kawasé no tazu wa
Nakazu to mo yoshi.

As Tanabata (slumbers) with her long sleeves rolled up, until the reddening of the dawn, do not, O storks of the river-shallows, awaken her by your cries.

Amanogwa
Kiri-tachi-wataru:
Kyô, kyô, to ---
Waga matsu-koïshi
Funadé-surashi!

(She sees that) a mist is spreading across the River of Heaven. . . . " To-day, to-day," she thinks, "my long-awaited lord will probably came over in his boat."

Amanogawa,
Yasu no watari ni,
Funé ukété ; ---
Waga tachi-matsu to
Imo ni tsugé koso.

By the ferry of Yasu, on the River of Heaven, the boat is floating: I pray you tell my younger sister that I stand here and wait.

Ô-sora yo
Kayô waré sura,
Na ga yué ni,
Amanokawa-ji no
Nazumité zo koshi.

Though I (being a Star-god) can pass freely to and fro, through the great sky, --- yet to cross over the River of Heaven, for your sake, was weary work indeed!

Yachihoko no
Kami no mi-yo yori
Tomoshi-zuma; ---
Hito-shiri ni keri
Tsugitéshi omoëba.

From the august Age of the God-of-Eight-Thousand-Spears, she had been my spouse in secret only; yet now, because of my constant longing for her, our relation has become known to men.

Wakaréshi toki yo
Onoga tsuma;
Shika zo té ni aru
Aki matsu aré wa.

From the time when heaven and earth were parted, she has been my own wife; --- yet, to be with her, I must always wait till autumn.

Waga kôru
Niho no omo wa
Koyoï mo ka
Ama-no-kawara ni
Ishi-makura makan.

With my beloved, of the ruddy-tinted cheeks, this night indeed will I descend into the bed of the River of Heaven, to sleep on a pillow of stone.

Amanogawa.
Mikomori-gusa no
Aki-kazé ni
Nabikafu miréba,
Toki kitarurashi.

When I see the water-grasses of the River of Heaven bend in the autumn wind (I think to myself): "The time (for our meeting) seems to have come."

Waga séko ni
Ura-koi oréba,
Amanogawa
Yo-funé kogi-toyomu
Kaji no 'to kikoyu.

When I feel in my heart a sudden longing for my husband, then on the River of Heaven the sound of the rowing of the night-boat is heard, and the plash of the oar resounds.

Tô-zuma to
Tamakura kawashi
Nétaru yo wa,
Tori-gané na naki
Akéba aku to mo!

In the night when I am reposing with my (now) far-away spouse, having exchangad jewel-pillows with her, let not the cock crow, even though the day should dawn.

Yorozu-yo ni
Tazusawari ité
Ai mi-domo,
Omoi-sugu-béki
Koi naranaku ni.

Though for a myriad ages we should remain hand-in-hand and face to face, our exceeding love could never come to an end. (Why then should Heaven deem it necessary to part us?)

Waga tamé to,
Tanabata-tsumé no,
Sono yado ni,
Oréru shirotai
Nuït ken kamo?

The white cloth which Tanabata has woven for my sake, in that dwelling of hers, is now, I think, being made into a robe for me.

Shirakumo no
I-ho é kakurité
Tô-kédomo,
Yoï-sarazu min
Imo ga atari wa.

Though she be far-away, and hidden from me by five hundred layers of white cloud, still shall I turn my gaze each night toward the dwelling-place of my younger sister (wife).

Aki saréba
Kawagiri tatéru
Amanogawa,
Kawa ni muki-ité
Kru yo zo ôki!

When autumn comes, and the river-mists spread over the Heavenly Stream, I turn toward the river, (and long); and the nights of my longing are many!

Hito-tosé ni
Nanuka no yo nomi
Aü-hito no ---
Koï mo tsuki-néba
Sayo zo aké ni keru!

But once in the whole year, and only upon the seventh night (of the seventh month), to meet the beloved person --- and lo! The day has dawned before our mutual love could express itself!

Toshi no koï
Koyoï tsukushité,
Asu yori wa,
Tsuné no gotoku ya
Waga koï oran.

The love-longing of one whole year having ended to-night, every day from to-morrow I must again pine for him as before!

Hikoboshi to
Tanabata-tsumé to
Koyoï aü, ---
Ama-no-Kawa to ni
Nami tatsu-na yumé!

Hikoboshi and Tanabata-tsumé are to meet each other to-night; --- ye waves of the River of Heaven, take heed that ye do not rise!

Aki-kazé no
Fuki tadayowasu
Shirakumo wa,
Tanabata-tsumé no
Amatsu hiré kamo?

Oh! that white cloud driven by the autumn-wind --- can it be the heavenly hiré of Tanabata-tsumé?

Shiba-shiba mo
Ai minu kimi wo,
Amanogawa
Funa-dé haya séyo
Yo no fukénu ma ni.

Because he is my not-often-to-be-met beloved, hasten to row the boat across the River of Heaven ere the night be advanced.

Amanogawa
Kiritachi-watari
Hikoboshi no
Kaji no 'to kikoyu
Yo no fuké-yukéba

Late in the night, a mist spreads over the River of Heaven; and the sound of the oar of Hikoboshi is heard.

Amanogawa
Kawa 'to sayakéshi:
Hikoboshi no
Haya kogu funé no
Nami no sawagi ka?

On the River of Heaven a sound of plashing can be distinctly heard: is it the sound of the rippling made by Hikoboshi quickly rowing his boat?

Kono yûbé,
Furikuru amé wa,
Hikoboshi no
Haya kogu funé no
Kaï no chiri ka mo.

Perhaps this evening shower is but the spray (flung down) from the oar of Hikoboshi, rowing his boat in haste.

Waga tama-doko wo
Asu yori wa
Uchi haraï,
Kimi to inézuté
Hitori ka mo nen!

From to-morrow, alas! after having put my jewel-bed in order, no longer reposing with my lord, I must sleep alone!

Kawa-nami tachinu ; ---
Hiki-funé ni
Watari mo kimasé
Yo no fukénu ma ni

The wind having risen, the waves of the river have become high; --- this night cross over in a towboat, I pray thee, before the hour be late!

Amanogawa
Nami wa tatsutomo,
Waga funé wa
Iza kogi iden
Yo no fukénu ma ni.

Even though the waves of the River of Heaven run high, I must row over quickly, before it becomes late in the night.

Inishié ni
Oritéshi hata wo,
Kono yubé
Koromo ni nuïté ---
Kimi matsu aré wo!

Long ago I finished weaving the material; and, this evening, having, finished sewing the garment for him --- (why must) I still wait for my lord?

Amanogawa
Sé wo hayami ka mo?
Nubatama no
Yo wa fuké ni tsutsu,
Awanu Hikoboshi!

Is it that the current of the River of Heaven (has become too) rapid? The jet-black night advances --- and Hikoboshi has not come!

Watashi-mori,
Funé haya watasé; ---
Hito-tosé ni
Futatabi kayô
Kimi naranaku ni!

Oh, ferryman, make speed across the stream! --- my lord is not one who can come and go twice in a year!

Aki kazé no
Fukinishi hi yori,
Amanogawa
Kawasé ni dédachi; ---
Matsu to tsugé koso!

On the very day that the autumn-wind began to flow, I set out for the shallows of the River of Heaven; --- I pray you, tell my lord that I am waiting here still!

Tanabata no
Funanori surashi, ---
Maso-kagami,
Kiyoki tsuki-yo ni
Kumo tachi-wataru.

Me thinks Tanabata must be coming in her boat; for a cloud is even now passing across the clear face of the moon.

 

 

Romanized and translated by Lafcadio Hearn
in: The Romance of the Milky Way and other Studies and Stories. 1905 (ISBN: 1903331315)
online source: http://www.amitaj.or.jp/~kenji/home11.htm

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