“Ershisi fan huaxinfeng” 二十四番花信風 by Dong Gao 董誥 pt. 10


Picture credit: National Palace Museum, Taipei


始華恰值清明候。

碧葉黃蕤拂惠

應律知時引威鳳。

朝陽高幹挹童[1]

清明一候桐花

The first blossoms come with the [first] pentad of Pure Brightness,

Emerald leaves and yellow flowerets caressed by the gentle breeze.

Responding to natural rhythms and knowing the season, [they] attract a majestic phoenix [2]

Which, in morning sunshine, extends its greetings from the lush green of the tall trunk.

The first pentad after Pure Brightness: tung blossoms (Vernicia fordii)


一犁甘雨浹郊

千畝芃芃麥穎

祈實滋榮民足食。

夭桃穠李豈同

清明二候麥花

Across the ploughed [fields], delightful rain perfuses the countryside.

On thousands of acres of luxuriance heave the awns of wheat.

[One] prays that the yield will be abundant and people have ample food,

How can charming peach [blossoms] and alluring plum [blossoms] compare [to these]?

The second pentad after Pure Brightness: wheat flowers (Triticum aestivum)


[1] Coloured characters rhyme. [2] Legend has it that a phoenix only alights on the tung tree.


 

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