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Selections of Tang Poetry

A Tune of Crows Roosting Before the Eve

A Tune of Crows Roosting Before the Eve

By Li Bai (701 - 762 AD)

Traditional

李白(701-762)

姑蘇
王宮西施

青山半邊
漏水

東方

Simplified

李白(701-762)

姑苏
王宫西施

青山半边
漏水

东方

Vocabulary and Notes

Line 1: 姑蘇 Gusu Terrace, on, crow, roosting, at the time
Line 2: King of We, palace, inside, drunk, 西施 Xishi
Line 3: Wu, song, Chu, dance, joy, end
Line 4: 青山 Mount Qing, to desire, to hold in mouth, 半邊 half, the Sun
Line 5: silver, arrow, gold, vase, to drip, water
Line 6: to see, autumn, moon, to fall, river, waves
Line 1: east, gradually, high, how, joyful exclamation

Notes

  1. Gusu Terrace is on Mount Gusu, a small range about 15 km southwest of present day Suzhou City, which was called Gusu in ancient times.
  2. The belle Xishi refers to a concubine of Fuchai (, ? - 473 BC), king of the State of Wu in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC). Xishi was used by the King's enemy, the State of Yue () as part of a successful plot to overthrow the State of Wu. According to the critic Zhan Ying, this was a warning from Li Bai to his Tang Emperor regarding one of his concubines.
  3. The silver arrow and golden vase (漏水) refers to a water dripping timepiece.

Source: Complete Tang Poems, Scroll 21, 全唐詩 二十一 -. English translation by Sun Dayu, 1983. References

Glossary and Other Vocabulary