|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/09/06 10:08 《英语学习》|
[宋]王禹 文／罗经国 译
The Bamboo Pavilion in Huanggang
By Wang Yucheng
Huanggang1 abounds with bamboos. The bigger ones are as thick as rafters. Workers split the bamboo stems into two, chop off the joints and use them to substitute earthen tiles. Bamboo tiled houses are used everywhere, for they are inexpensive and labor-saving.
At the northwest corner of the outer city, the parapets have collapsed and wild grass grows profusely. Making use of the open space there, I have built a two-roomed bamboo pavilion, which adjoins the Moonlight Pavilion2. It gives a panoramic view of the mountains in the distance and the shallow water that flows over the sands. The tranquil beauty and the wide-extending space are so impressive that it is impossible to describe them in detail. The Bamboo Pavilion is an ideal place to listen to the torrential rain in summer, which sounds like waterfalls, and to the heavy snow in winter, for the snow sounds like tiny pieces of jade falling on the ground. It is also an ideal place to play the qin3, for its tune is soft and melodious. The same is true of reciting poems, for the chanting carries an extremely graceful appeal. So are the games of chess playing and arrow throwing, for the former makes a ding, ding sound as the chess pieces touch the chessboard, and the latter makes a zheng, zheng sound as the thuds of the arrows drop into the pot. For all the pleasant sounds mentioned above, credit should be given to the Bamboo Pavilion.
Every day in my leisure time after work I would put on a gown made of birds' feathers and a cap worn by the Taoist priest. With incense burning by my side and a copy of Yi Jing in hand, I would sit in silence and forget all worldly affairs. Within my field of vision besides the mountains and the river, there are nothing but sailing boats, shore birds, mists, clouds, and stands of bamboo. When I sober up, the fire lit for making tea has gone out. I send the setting sun off and welcome the bright moon. There is pleasure in being in exile! The Qiyun Pavilion4 and the Luoxing Pavilion5 were lofty indeed. The Jinghan Pavilion6 and the Liqiao Pavilion7 were grandiose indeed. But they were built to keep courtesans and dancers. Men of letters do not like them and I disdain them.
I have heard from workers that one layer of the bamboo tiles lasts ten years and two layers of the bamboo tiles last twenty years. Alas! I was demoted from the position of Hanlin8 and exiled to Chu Zhou9 in the first year of Zhidao10. In the following year I was transferred to Guangling11. In the third year I was appointed as a member of Xiye12. On New Year's Eve in the first year of Xianping13 I was assigned to be the prefectural governor of Huang Zhou14. In the leap month of March in the following year I arrived at my post. In the past four years I moved non-stop from one place to another. I don't know where I will be next year. Why should I worry about the Bamboo Pavilion? If my successors are of the same mind as I, they will renovate it from time to time. Then the Bamboo Pavilion might survive.-
1. Huanggang is today's Huanggang City in Hubei Province.
2. The Moonlight Pavilion was another pavilion in Huanggang.
3. Qin is a seven-stringed plucked instrument.
4. The Qiyun Pavilion was a pavilion in today's Suzhou, built by Han Pu(韩浦) in the Five Dynasties (907-960).
5.The Luoxing Pavilion was a pavilion in today's Nanjing, built by Sun Quan of the Kingdom of Wu during the Period of the Three Kingdoms (220-280).
6.The Jinghan Pavilion was a pavilion in Chang'an, built by Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty.
7. The Liqiao Pavilion was a pavilion built by Cao Cao of the Kingdom of Wei during the Period of the Three Kingdoms.
8. Hanlin was a member of the imperial academy.
9. Chu Zhou is a city in today's Anhui Province.
10. Zhidao was the title of Emperor Taizong's reign of the Song Dynasty.
11. Guangling is today's City of Yangzhou in Jiangsu Province.
12. Xiye refers to Zhongshusheng(中书省), which was the highest administrative organization in the Northern Song Dynasty.
13. Xianping(咸平) was the title of Emperor Zhenzong's reign of the song Dynasty. The first year of Xianping was the year of Wuxu according to the lunar calendar, that is, 998 AD.
14. Huang Zhou, in today's Huanggang in Hubei Province, was called Qi'an in the Tang Dynasty.
About the Author:
Wang Yucheng (954-1001) was a native of Shandong Province. He passed the highest imperial civil service examination in 983 AD and held the office of Hanlin. He was candid and offended the Emperor. He was three times exiled and died in Huang Zhou. He advocated that people should learn from Han Yu and Liu Zongyuan in essay writing and from Du Fu and Bai Juyi in poetry writing. He was the forerunner in the revival of the classical writings and paved the way for Ouyang Xiu.
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