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“Ershisi fan huaxinfeng” 二十四番花信風 by Dong Gao 董誥 pt. 3



淨質經秋紉佩

一華一幹帶煙

春回空谷傳芳信,

幾轉光風新歲[1]


大寒二候蘭花


The pure flesh of twined pendants having remained from autumn,[2]

Each flower and each stem unfurls in mists.

As spring returns to the empty valley, delivering fragrant messages,

[They] flutter in bright breezes with the advent of a new year.


Second pentad after Severe Cold: orchid


婆娑幽客涵光澤,

玉蕊團圞蘊素

婀娜輕盈倚文石,

梅兄清韻結忘


大寒三候山礬


Twirling and swirling, the secluded ones are imbued with radiance;

Jade stamens cluster, infused with an innocent scent.

Leaning against marbled rock with grace and ease,

[They] make loyal companions for plum blossoms, the ones with an air of purity.


Third pentad after Severe Cold: sweetleaf


[1] Red characters rhyme. [2] The wording here harks back to the line ren xiulan yi wei pei 紉秋蘭以為佩 (Twining autumn lan as my pendants) in the poem “Li sao” 離騷 (Encountering Sorrow) from the Chuci 楚辭 (Songs of the South). Note that in the context of the Chuci, lan 蘭 usually refers to the thoroughwort instead of the orchid. Although the inscription here reflects a later perception of lan, the symbolic meaning of this plant, i.e. good virtues, remains the same throughout ages.


 

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