月夜憶舍弟 yu y y shě d 30 translations

 

戍鼓斷人行 sh gǔ dun rn xng, hng d r r L L

邊秋一雁聲 biān qiū yī yn shēng. shiɛng L L e d L

露從今夜白 l cng jīn y bi, bhk d L L d e

月是故鄉明 yu sh g xiāng mng. ming e r d L L

有弟皆分散 yǒu d jiē fēn sǎn, sɑ̀n r d L L d

無家問死生 w jiā wn sǐ shēng. shrng L L d r L

寄書長不達 j shū chng b d, dhɑt d L L e e

況乃未休兵 kung nǎi wi xiū bīng. bing d r d L L

 

Rhyme AABACADA

 

Hawkes, David A Little Primer of Tu Fu (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967) (literal)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night

 

Garrison drums cut-off peoples travel

Frontier autumn one goose sound

Dew from this-night white

Moon is old-home bright

Have brothers all are-scattered

Havent family ask dead-alive

Sent letters always not arrive

Especially as not-yet end fighting

 

 

anonymous (www.chinese-poems.com) (literal)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night

 

Garrison drum cut person action

Autumn border one goose sound

Dew from today night white

Moon is homeland bright

Have brother all disperse

No home ask die life

Send letter all not reach

Condition be not stop fighting

 

 

Alley, Rewi Tu Fu: Selected Poems (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1964)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlight Night

 

Drums at the watch-towers beat,

And roads below clear of people;

I think of the frontier as I

Hear the wild geeses autumn cry;

Dew changes to frost, but I feel

Moonlight is not as bright as it was

Back in my old home; now my brothers

Are scattered, and there is no way

For me to know if they are alive

Or dead, for letters cannot come

And the war that keeps us apart

Seems unending.

 

 

Alley, Rewi Peace Through the Ages: Translations from the Poets of China (Peking: R. Alley, 1954)

Thinking of My Brothers in the Moonlight

 

War drums rattle;

below, the roads are bare.

The sound of a wild goose flying

so low and so swiftly this autumn night

brings sharp desire for a message from home.

Here now, the dew changes to frost; and

the moon shines as bright as in my own

native land; my brothers are scattered

an now, at home, none remain to wonder if I

am alive or dead;

but why torture myself with all this thinking?

Even if we were at peace we are too far

for news to reach us; now at war,

what hope is there?

 

 

Ayscough, Florence Tu Fu: The Autobiography of a Chinese Poet, A.D. 712-770 (2 Volumes) (London: Cape, 1929, 1934)

Moon Night; Thinking of Younger Brothers


Soldiers on watch, drums; movement among people cut short;

Honk of single wild goose on Autumn frontier.

White dew season begins this night;

In old village moon must dazzle.

Younger brothers; all parted, scattered;

No home where I can ask, Are they dead? Alive?

I send letters; often they do not arrive,

Because alas! fighting is not ended.

 

 

Barnstone, Tony & Chou Ping (www.7beats.com/2006_12_01_7beats_archive.html)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night

 

Curfew drums cut off a traveler's road.

At the border, autumn comes with a wild goose's shriek.

From this night on, dew will whiten to frost.

The moon looks brighter at home.

My brothers are scattered now.

Who can tell me if they live or die?

I send letters but no word arrives,

and the war goes on and on.

 

 

Brownrigg, Ray (www.mcs.vuw.ac.nz/~ray/ChineseEssays)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night

 

Watchtower drums interrupt travel,

Frontier in autumn - a lone goose call.

From tonight on the frosts will settle,

The moons as bright as it is back home.

My brothers, they are scattered all over;

No family to ask their fate at all.

Letters are slow to arrive wherever,

Besides, the war is not yet done.

 

 

Brownrigg, Ray (www.mcs.vuw.ac.nz/~ray/ChineseEssays)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night

 

Watchtower drums interrupt travel,

Autumn Frontier - a lone gooses call.

From tonight on the frosts will settle,

This moons as bright as it is back home.

My brothers, theyre scattered all over;

No home to ask of their fate at all.

Letters are slow to get wherever,

Besides, the war is not yet done.

 

 

Bynner, Witter The Jade Mountain: A Chinese Anthology (New York: Knopf, 1931)

Remembering My Brothers on a Moonlight Night

 

A wanderer hears drums portending battle.

By the first call of autumn from a wildgoose at the border,

He knows that the dews tonight will be frost.

...How much brighter the moonlight is at home!

O my brothers, lost and scattered,

What is life to me without you?

Yet if missives in time of peace go wrong --

What can I hope for during war?

 

 

Davis, A. R. Tu Fu (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1971)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night

 

The guard tower drum puts an end to mens passing;

In the frontier autumn a single wild gooses cry;

The dew from this night begins to whiten;

The moon is as bright as it is at home.

I have brothers but they are scattered;

I have no home to ask if they are alive or dead.

Their letters for long have not reached me;

Worse still theres no end to the war!

 

 

Fletcher, W. J. B. Gems of Chinese Verse (Shanghai: Commercial Press Ltd., 1919)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night

 

The war drum booms: all roads are bare.

One wild goose clangs: 'tis Autumn there.

Our nightly dews hence will be white.

On our old home the Moon is bright.

Brothers have I all scattered far.

Homeless, how know if still they are?

Letters I send: but none reply.

Is this not War's sad tyranny?

 

 

Giles Herbert A.

To His Brother


The evening drum has emptied every street,

One autumn goose screams on its frontier flight,

The crystal dew is glittering at my feet,

The moon sheds, as of old, her silvery light.

The brothers, -- ah, where are they? Scattered each;

No home whence one might learn the others harms.

Letters has oft miscarried: shall they reach

Now when the land rings with the clash of arms?

 

 

Hart, Henry H. The Charcoal Burner, and Other Poems; Original Translations from the Poetry of the Chinese (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1974)

A Soldiers Letter

 

On the frontier

The war drums roll;

The men are on the march.

It is autumn,

And henceforth

The nightly dew will be white,

Though in my homeland

The moon shines bright.

All my brothers are scattered far,

With none at home

To ask if they yet live.

Letters I write.

Long I wait,

But no answers come.

Ah, how uncertain

Is the life of a soldier.

 

 

Hawkes, David A Little Primer of Tu Fu (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night

 

Travel is interrupted by the war-drums of the garrisons. The sound of a solitary wild goose announces the coming of autumn to the frontier. From tonight onwards the dew will be white. The moon is that same moon which shines down on my birthplace. My brothers are scattered in different places. I have no home to tell me whether they are alive or dead. The letters we write never seem to reach their destination; and it will be worse now that we are at war once more.

 

 

Hinton, David in Weinberger, Eliot, ed. The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry (New York: New Directions Pub. Corp., 2003)

Moonlit Night Thinking of My Brothers

 

Warning drums have ended all travel.

A lone goose cries across autumn

Borderlands. White Dew begins tonight,

This bright moon bright there over

My old village. My scattered brothers

And no home to ask Are they alive or dead?

Letters never arrive. War comes

And goes then comes like this again.

 

 

Hung, William Tu Fu: Chinas Greatest Poet (New York: Harvard University Press, 1952)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlight Night

 

The watch-tower drum has sounded to close the road to travelling.

I hear a lone wild gooses cry in the autumn skies of the frontier.

The White Dew Season begins tonight;

The moon is not as bright as I used to see it at home.

Brothers I have, but they are all scattered.

There is no home where I can inquire if they are alive.

Their letters will never reach me now;

Moreover the war that separates us is not ended.

 

 

Jenyns, Soame A Further Selection from the Three Hundred Poems of the Tang Dynasty (London: J. Murray, 1944)

Under the Evening Moon Thinking of My Younger Brother

 

The throb of drums from (distant) garrisons holds up all communications,

On the frontiers in autumn one goose is calling;

From tonight onwards the white hoar-frost will fall.

This same moon shines bright on my distant home,

Yet my brothers are all scattered

There is none to ask whether they live or die.

If I send a letter on so long a journey it may not reach its destination

All is more difficult now as the war sweeps on.

 

 

Liu, Shih Shun One hundred and One Chinese Poems (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1967)

Thinking of My Brothers and Sisters on a Moonlit Night

 

Frontier drums beating alarm the travellers;

At the border the solitary cry of a wild goose.

From today the dewdrops will be white with frost;

In my native town the moon is shedding a special brightness.

All my brothers have been scattered;

Homeless, I know not whether they are alive or dead;

No mail is ever received, or is like to be,

Since there is still no prospect of the war ending.

 

 

Mosley, Ivo (www.ivo.mosley.com/EARTH_POEMS.html)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night

 

Drums on the watch-tower have emptied the roads -

At the frontier it's autumn; a wild-goose cries.

This is a night in which dew becomes frost;

The moon is bright like it used to be at home.

I have brothers, but they're scattered;

My home's broken up; are they dead or alive?

If letters are sent, they never arrive;

This war that separates us seems unending.

 

 

Murphy, James R. (http://www.torusflex.com/poetry%20project1/poetry.html)

Remembering family in the moon light

 

the guard drums throb through the night

no one can travel more, we're lucky we're here

on the borderlands with an autumn moon

and the only friend heard is a lonely wild goose

the dew of this night glows bright

white in its crustal iciness

so bright the moon as in my youth

when it rose above where i was born

i remember all my younger brothers

they are scattered by these pains

i have no family left to counsel

no one to ask if they live, or die

i send letters to where they might be

i know my words still can't reach them

the only thing i might add

there is no end to the fighting

 

 

Wang Yushu Selected Poems and Pictures of the Tang Dynasty (China Intercontinental Press, 2005)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night

 

The frontiers garrison drums warn men not to come near.

There, in autumn, a lonely wild gooses cry one can hear.

Tonight falls on the night when dew begins to be white.

The moon that shines in ones native place is the most bright.

All younger brothers I have are widely separate

And nowhere can I ask about their existence state.

The letters I have written cant reach them anyway,

Especially now when warfare is still under way.

 

 

Watson, Burton The Selected Poems of Du Fu (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002)

On a Moonlit Night, Thinking of My Younger Brothers

 

Martial drums cut off all human concourse;

borderland autumn, cry of a lone wild goose.

Tonight we enter the season of white dew,

though the moon still shines with a homeland brightness.

I've younger brothers, every one of them scattered,

no home where I can ask if they're dead or alive.

I send letters that never succeed in getting through,

much less now, with hostilities unceasing!

 

 

Whincup, Greg. The Heart of Chinese Poetry (Garden City: Anchor Press, Doubleday, 1987)

Thinking of My Younger Brothers on a Moonlit Night

 

Drums on the watchtower
Cut off mens travels.
Autumn in the borderlands
A wild gooses cry.

The dew
Starting from tonight
Is white.
The moon
Over my old home
Is bright.

I have brothers,
But they are scattered.
There is no one to tell me
If they live or die.

The letters that I send
Never reach them.
And still,
The fighting goes on.

 

 

Wu Juntao 吴钧陶 (www.poetic.com.cn/go.asp?id=21983&ttt=)

Thinking of My Brothers in a Moonlit Night


The garrison drums warning the pass to be clear,

A wild goose honks above in autumnal frontier.

The season called the White Dew begins tonight,

Nowhere like in our native place the moons so bright.

Im very worried about my brothers existence,

And no place to ask and connect our far distance.

Letters I sent, but reached them not even a word;

The warfare is still going in the mundane world!

 

 

Xu Zhongjie 徐忠杰 (www.poetic.com.cn/go.asp?id=21983&ttt=)

Longing for my Brothers This Moonlit Night


With war drums beating, all human traffic cease.

In the border are plaintive cries of wild geese.

Dew will become frosty white from tonight.

Back in our native home, the moon is bright.

Two brothers! Each is sent to a different place;

Dead or alive? No way to know in each case.

Letters will be long in coming to hand.

Hostilities havent ceased in this, our land.

 

 

Yang Xianyi and Gladys Yang Poetry and Prose of the Tang and Song (Beijing, China: Chinese Literature, 1984)

Thinking of My Brothers in the Moonlight

 

The drum from the watchtower sounds; all are forbidden to move.

In autumn in this frontier town a lone swan is heard.

This is the season when the dew turns white,

But the moon seems brighter at my home.

I have brothers but all are scattered.

Homeless now I know not if they are alive or dead.

The letters I have written never reach them,

Especially now that war is raging.

 

 

Zhang Xueqing 章学清 (www.poetic.com.cn/go.asp?id=8000&ttt=)

Missing My Brothers under the Moon

 

The curfew has the people indoors keeping;

In frontier's fall, a lone wild wild goose is weeping.

Tonight the dew begins to turn off white;

The moon beyond old home seems none so bright.

My brothers all have scattered up to date,

Now homeless, whence to know about their fate?

No answer to my letters, can I stand?

If hatchets would be buried soon! Good land!

 

 

Zhang Xueqing 章学清 (www.poetic.com.cn/go.asp?id=8000&ttt=)

Missing My Brothers under the Moon

 

The curfew drums are warning, all the people indoors keeping;

No voice is heard in frontier's fall but one wild goose's weeping.

Tonight begins the season for the dew to turn off white;

Howeer, I feel the moon beyond old home is none so bright.

Far, far apart have all my brothers scattered up to date,

Alive or dead? Now homeless, whence to know about their fate?

To wait in vain for answer to my letters, can I stand?

If only hatchets would be buried pretty soon! Good land!

 

 

anonymous (www.chinese-poems.com)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night

 

The army drum cuts off people's actions,

A lone goose sounds on the borderland in autumn.

Tonight we start the season of white dew,

The moon is just as bright as in my homeland.

My brothers are spread all throughout the land,

No home to ask if they are living or dead.

The letters we send always go astray,

Still the fighting does not cease.

 

unknown (blog.myspace.com)

Thinking of My Brothers on a Moonlit Night

 

No one walks when the guardian drum sounds,

The cry of wild geese marks autumn on the frontier:

Now at night the dewdrops twinkle with starry whiteness,

Yet how much brighter shines the moon on my home!

My brothers are separated and wanderers in the land,

And there is nowhere I can ask whether they are alive or dead:

A letter takes so long upon the way:\

O, but I know there is so much more than war in this country.