Stopping at a Temple on Heng Mountain I Inscribe This Poem in the Gate-tower
- Poetry of Han Yu

《谒衡岳庙遂宿岳寺题门楼》

- Last updated: 2024-04-22 14:39:56

Stopping at a Temple on Heng Mountain I Inscribe This Poem in the Gate-tower by Han Yu
中文原文

五岳祭秩皆三公,四方环镇嵩当中。

火维地荒足妖怪,天假神柄专其雄。

喷云泄雾藏半腹,虽有绝顶谁能穷?

我来正逢秋雨节,阴气晦昧无清风。

潜心默祷若有应,岂非正直能感通!

须臾静扫众峰出,仰见突兀撑青空。

紫盖连延接天柱,石廪腾掷堆祝融。

森然魄动下马拜,松柏一径趋灵宫。

粉墙丹柱动光彩,鬼物图画填青红。

升阶伛偻荐脯酒,欲以菲薄明其衷。

庙令老人识神意,睢盱侦伺能鞠躬。

手持杯珓导我掷,云此最吉余难同。

窜逐蛮荒幸不死,衣食才足甘长终。

侯王将相望久绝,神纵欲福难为功。

夜投佛寺上高阁,星月掩映云曈昽。

猿鸣钟动不知曙,杲杲寒日生于东。


English Translation

The five Holy Mountains have the rank of the Three Dukes.

The other four make a ring, with the Song Mountain midmost.

To this one, in the fire-ruled south, where evil signs are rife,

Heaven gave divine power, ordaining it a peer.

All the clouds and hazes are hidden in its girdle;

And its forehead is beholden only by a few.

...I came here in autumn, during the rainy season,

When the sky was overcast and the clear wind gone.

I quieted my mind and prayed, hoping for an answer;

For assuredly righteous thinking reaches to high heaven.

And soon all the mountain-peaks were showing me their faces;

I looked up at a pinnacle that held the clean blue sky:

The wide Purple-Canopy joined the Celestial Column;

The Stone Granary leapt, while the Fire God stood still.

Moved by this token, I dismounted to offer thanks.

A long path of pine and cypress led to the temple.

Its white walls and purple pillars shone, and the vivid colour

Of gods and devils filled the place with patterns of red and blue.

I climbed the steps and, bending down to sacrifice, besought

That my pure heart might be welcome, in spite of my humble offering.

The old priest professed to know the judgment of the God:

He was polite and reverent, making many bows.

He handed me divinity-cups, he showed me how to use them

And told me that my fortune was the very best of all.

Though exiled to a barbarous land, mine is a happy life.

Plain food and plain clothes are all I ever wanted.

To be prince, duke, premier, general, was never my desire;

And if the God would bless me, what better could he grant than this? --

At night I lie down to sleep in the top of a high tower;

While moon and stars glimmer through the darkness of the clouds....

Apes call, a bell sounds. And ready for dawn

I see arise, far in the east the cold bright sun.

Seven-character-quatrain

· PreMountain-stones
Why Chinese poems is so special?
The most distinctive features of Chinese poetry are: concision- many poems are only four lines, and few are much longer than eight; ambiguity- number, tense and parts of speech are often undetermined, creating particularly rich interpretative possibilities; and structure- most poems follow quite strict formal patterns which have beauty in themselves as well as highlighting meaningful contrasts.
How to read a Chinese poem?
Like an English poem, but more so. Everything is there for a reason, so try to find that reason. Think about all the possible connotations, and be aware of the different possibilities of number and tense. Look for contrasts: within lines, between the lines of each couplet and between successive couplets. Above all, don't worry about what the poet meant- find your meaning.

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