Abandoned Birchleaf

The birchleaf
stands alone,
Now ripe with
fruit full grown.
The king’s work
must be done,
On every day, in
every sun.
So many suns and
moons,
My heartfelt
female wounds:
But can he come back soon?
The birchleaf
stands alone
With leaves now
plush and grown.
The king’s work
must be done
So I grieve for
my loved one.
Plants and trees
all strewn,
My heartfelt
female wounds:
But will he come back soon?
I climb the mountain
teary
To gather some wolfberries.
The king’s work
must be done,
So your parents miss
their son.
The slave cart
you’re in is shabby
And the animals are
ratty:
But my traveler’s
journey has begun.
Haven’t packed, haven’t
come;
My grieving
heart is numb.
The time has
passed, he isn’t here:
Have pity on my
fear.
I gather a reed
to divine
And it gives a
telling sign:
My traveling man
is near.



Original Chinese
Traditional
Simplified
Pronunciation
杕杜
杕杜

有杕之杜,
有杕之杜,
yǒu
dì zhī dù
有睆其實。
有睆其
yǒu
huàn qí shí
王事靡盬,
王事靡盬,
wáng
shì mí gǔ
繼嗣我日。
嗣我日。

sì wǒ rì
日月陽止,
日月阳止,

yuè yáng zhǐ
女之傷止,
女之止,

zhī shāng zhǐ
征夫遑止。
征夫遑止。
zhēng
fū huáng zhǐ
有杕之杜,
有杕之杜,
yǒu
dì zhī dù
其葉萋萋。
其叶萋萋。

yè qī qī
王事靡盬,
王事靡盬,
wáng
shì mí gǔ
我心傷悲。
我心悲。

xīn shāng bēi
卉木萋止,
卉木萋止,
huì
mù qī zhǐ
女心悲止,
女心悲止,

xīn bēi zhǐ
征夫歸止。
征夫止。
zhēng
fū guī zhǐ
陴彼北山,
陴彼北山,

bǐ běi shān
言采其杞。
言采其杞。
yán
cǎi qí qǐ
王事靡盬,
王事靡盬,
wáng
shì mí gǔ
憂我父母。
我父母。
yōu
wǒ fù mǔ
檀車幝幝
车幝幝
tán
chē chǎn chǎn
四牡痯痯,
四牡痯痯,

mǔ guǎn guǎn
征夫不遠。
征夫不
zhēng
fū bù yuǎn
匪載匪來,
匪来,
fěi
zài fěi lái
憂心孔疚。
心孔疚。
yōu
xīn kǒng jiù
期逝不至,
期逝不至,

shì bù zhì
而多為恤。
而多恤。
ér
duō wéi xù
蔔筮偕止,
卜筮偕止,

shì xié zhǐ
會言近止,
会言近止,
huì
yán jìn zhǐ
征夫邇止。
征夫迩止。
zhēng
fū ěr zhǐ



Translation Notes
This poem tells
of thinking of a traveler and longing for his early return.
杕杜
Lone-Standing
Birchleaf-Pear
有杕之杜,
Is
alone that birchleaf-pear,
有睆其實。
Is
solid-appearance its true.
[Solid-appearance
= full of ripe fruit]
[Its
true = actually, in fact]
王事靡盬,
King
affairs extravagant/wasted leisure,
繼嗣我日。
Replenish
heirs our sun.
日月陽止,
Sun
moon yang/sun stop,
女之傷止,
Woman ’s wound stop,
征夫遑止。
Conquer
man leisure stop.
[Conquer
man = traveler, soldier on expedition]
有杕之杜,
Is
alone that birchleaf-pear,
其葉萋萋。
Its
leaves luxuriant luxuriant.
王事靡盬,
King
affairs scatter leisure,
我心傷悲。
Our
heart wounded sorrow.
卉木萋止,
Plants
trees foliage stop,
女心悲止,
Woman
heart sorrow stop,
征夫歸止。
Conquer
man return stop.
陴彼北山,
Parapet
that north mountain,
言采其杞。
Says
gather that wolfberry.
王事靡盬,
King
affairs scatter leisure,
憂我父母。
Grieved
our father mother.
檀車幝幝
Sandalwood forced-labor-car shabby
shabby,
四牡痯痯,
Four male-animals weary weary,
征夫不遠。
Conquer
man not far.
匪載匪來,
Not carry not come,
憂心孔疚。
Grieved
heart hole disease.
期逝不至,
Period-of-time
pass-away no reach,
而多為恤。
And
much do show-pity.
蔔筮偕止,
Radish
divining-rod excellent stop,
會言近止,
Gather
words near stop,
征夫邇止。
Conquer
man be-near stop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.