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洪亮吉《臘八日破曉過錫山作》“At daybreak of the eighth day of the twelfth month, written when passing by Mount Xi” by Hong Liangji (1746-1809)

山雨接天,                Mountain rain, emerging from the sky’s white,

破寒溪上。                Breaking through the cold, comes over from the brook.

北風吹别袂,                The northern wind blows onto the parting sleeves, [1]

南酒勸銜。                The southern wine urges that cups be raised.

宿鳥依林顫,                A lodging bird trembles in the grove to which it clings;

驚魚蹴浪。                A startled fish returns [to the water], slapping the waves.

呼僮泛膏粥,                [I] call on my page to serve the rich congee, [2]

聊賞膽瓶[3]           And enjoy the plum blossoms in the gallbladder[-shaped] vase for the while.

 

*From Hong Liangji 洪亮吉 (1746-1809), Hong Beijiang shiwenji 洪北江詩文集 (Sibu congkan chubian 四部叢刊初編 vol. 1802-1821), 8.15b: https://ctext.org/library.pl?if=gb&file=79177&page=77.

 

[1] Biemei 別袂 (parting sleeves) is a metonym for people on departure.

[2] As the title suggests, this poem was written on the eighth day of the twelfth month, the day which marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year period. It is the custom of this day to have congee made from mixed grains, nuts, and fruits.

[3] Red characters rhyme.


霽紅釉膽瓶

Gallbladder-shaped vase with copper red glaze

Image credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei


An example of laba congee

由bfishadow from Beijing, China - Laba Congee: After,CC BY 2.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46918028

 

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