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劉秉忠《桃花曲》 [To the Tune] “Song of Peach Blossoms” by Liu Bingzhong (1216-1274) 

一川芳景, A river of fair scenes,

一壺春酒, A jug of spring wine,

一襟幽 A heart of secret strings. [1]

今朝好天色, ’Tis a fine day,

又無風無 No wind, nor rain.

水滿清溪花滿 Water fills the clear brooks, blossoms the trees.

有閒鷗、 Idle gulls are there

伴人來 Coming and going with men.

行雲望逾逺, The drifting clouds, when gazed upon, seem further,

更青山無[2] With green mountains beyond number.

[1] Jin 襟 originally refers to the front flaps of the robe which cross over the chest. It is a common metonym for “bosom” and by extension “the feelings or thoughts harboured in one’s heart”. Xu 緒, originally “the end of a thread”, is widely used in figurative expressions relating to emotions, feelings, and thoughts.

[2] Red characters rhyme.

Album leaf by Fan Qi 樊圻 (1616–after 1694)

Image credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art


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