Chinese Classical Guqin Song “Lament of Xiang River (Xiang Jiang Yuan, 湘江怨)”

Xiang Jiang Yuan(湘江怨), also known as “Xiang Fei Yuan(湘妃怨)”, the Chinese Guqin(古琴) song. (Different from Yuan Qu’s “Xiang Fei Yuan”). The song was described from the Ming Dynasty in 1590, a classic book “Qin Shu Da Qian(琴书大全)”.  Song described such a legend: Shun(Emperor) collapsed in the wild, his two concubine e emperor, female Ying is very sad, crying tears dripping on the bamboo, leaving a piece of bamboo on the tears of tears, future generations named this kind of bamboo as “Xiang Fei bamboo”.

1. (7+7) x 4
落 花 落 葉 落 紛 紛;落 日 思 君 不 見 君。
Luo hua luo ye luo fen fen; luo ri si jun bu jian jun.
Falling flowers, falling leaves, falling and scattering;
with the setting sun I think of my lord, but don’t see him.

腸 斷 斷 腸 腸 欲 斷;淚 珠 痕 上 更 添 痕。
Chang duan duan chang chang yu duan; lei zhu hen shang bian tian hen.
Heartbreak, break-heart, heart about to break;
tears like pearls leave traces, then add even more traces.

一 片 白 雲 青 山 內;一 片 白 雲 青 山 外。
Yi pian bai yun qing shan nei; yi pian bai yun qing shan wai.
A layer of white clouds in front of the green mountains;
another layer of white clouds behind the green mountains.

青 山 內 外 有 白 雲;白 雲 飛 去 青 山 在。
Qing shan nei wai you bai yun; bai yun fei qu qing shan zai.
Green mountains, front and back, have white clouds;
the white clouds fly away, but the green mountains remain.

2. (5+5) x 10

我 有 一 片 心; 無 人 共 我 說。
Wo you yi pian xin; wu ren gong wo shuo.
I have just one heart; there’s no one with me to speak.

願 風 吹 散 雲; 訴 與 天 邊 月。
Yuan feng chui san yun; su yu tian bian yue.
I’d like the wind to blow, and scatter the clouds;
so then I could complain to the moon at the edge of the sky.

攜 琴 上 高 樓; 樓 高 月 華 滿。
Xi qin shang gao lou; lou gao yue hua man.
I bring my qin up onto a high tower;*
the tower is high and filled with moonlight.

相 思 彈 未 終; 淚 滴 冰 絃 斷。
Xiang si tan wei zhong; lei di bing xian duan.
Feeling this love, my playing is not finished;
tears fall and a smooth as ice string breaks.

人 道 湘 江 深; 未 抵 相 思 半。
Ren dao Xiang Jiang shen; wei di xiang si ban.
People say the Xiang River is deep;

but it cannot reach half of my love.

海 深 終 有 底; 相 思 無 邊 岸。
Hai shen zhong you di; xiang si wu bian an.
The sea is deep but in the end it has a bottom;
my love has no boundary or limit.

3. (5+5) x 10

君 在 湘 江 頭; 妾 在 湘 江 尾。
Jun zai Xiang Jiang tou; qie zai Xiang Jiang wei.
The man at the Xiang River’s head;
his lady at the Xiang River’s mouth.

相 思 不 相 見; 同 飲 湘 江 水。
Xiang si bu xiang jian; tong yin Xiang Jiang shui.
Able to love but not to meet;
both drinking the Xiang River’s water.

夢 魂 飛 不 到; 所 欠 惟 一 死。
Meng hun fei bu dao; suo qian wei yi si.
Dreaming of a spirit flying but unable to arrive;
what is lacking is only death.

入 我 相 思 門; 知 我 相 思 苦。(Compare these three lines to part two of the 1709 Qiu Feng Ci)
Ru wo xiang si men; zhi wo xiang si ku.
To enter the gate of my love;
is to know my love’s bitterness.

4. (7+7) x 4

長 相 思 兮 長 相 憶; 短 相 思 兮 無 盡 極。
Chang xiang si xi chang xiang yi; duan xiang si xi wu jin ji.
Everlasting love (means) everlasting remembrance;
even love cut short has no limit.

早 知 如 此 絆 人 心; 何 不 當 初 莫 相 識。
Zao zhi ru ci ban ren xin; he bu dang chu mo xiang zhi.
If from the start I’d known that I’d so fetter my heart;
how could I have not at the beginning avoided getting involved?

湘 江 湘 水 碧 澄 澄; 未 抵 相 思 一 半 深。 Xiang Jiang Xiang Shui bi deng deng; wei di xiang si yi ban shen.
The Xiang River’s water is blue, settled and clear;
but it does not reach half the depth of my love.

每 向 夢 中 相 見 後; 令 人 不 覺 痛 傷 心。
Mei xiang meng zhong xiang jian hou; ling ren bu jue tong shang xin.
Always, after dreaming of meeting you;
I have felt unimaginable pain and distress.


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