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Li Qingzhao: Again, the sun melted gold in a jade ring -永遇乐. 落日熔金

永遇乐. 落日熔金

原作:李清照 (宋)
























Again, the sun melted gold in a jade ring

– to the Tune of Yongyuyue

written by Li Qingzhao ( 1084-1155?)

translated by Gordon Osing & Julia Min

Again, the sun melted gold in a jade ring

of clouds, but where is my life all gone?

Mists envelope willows and bittersweet’s the tune

“The Falling of Plum Blooms”, hardly our Spring!

The last day on Lantern Festival and already warm,

why does one dread at every hour a storm?

Friends came for me, in carriages and horses

bedecked with ornaments. Of course I ignored.

Remembering other days, and better, in Zhongzhou,

a lady at home in her boudoir, toasting this festival

wearing a cap of inlaid jade, and twisting rolled gold

to snow willows for children, a vision of elegance,…

But now! Pallid and thin, hair frosted, dishevelled,

how ought she dare to appear for their merriment?

She’s best seen not at all, curtained and listening

to their laughter, loud and empty as their talk.

For appreciation:

This ci could be composed in 1150 when our poet was in her late sixties. Feeling like a traveller in a strange place Lin’an, she also had to give up her hope of returning to her homeland in this life time. The barbarian tribes from the Jin and the Mongols are simply too violent and strong in battlefields for the Song to reclaim her land. It is the Lantern Festival day and friends want her to celebrate with them, but she can’t; All she can do is to recall the grand festivals in Zhongzhou (Kaifeng, Henan Province now), the old capital, and to listen bittersweetly to the laughter and talk of the celebrants.



1. ‘jade ring’: evening clouds circling jade, meaning clouds around the sun;

2. “The Falling of Plum Blooms” the old bittersweet tune played with flute was and is frequently heard at this time of the year when plum trees are in full bloom, and with the weather warmer in this southern town, will fall earlier.

3. ‘hardly our Spring’: ironic remark on her status like an emigrant in a strange land, a strong melancholy over the hopeless return to her invaded homeland for such a reunion festival. The so-called ‘temporary Court’in Lin’an seems now like permanent, so again she’s criticising the weakness of the Royal against the invaders.

4. ‘The Lantern Festival’: the night on the 15th of the first lunar month, 15 days after the Chinese New Year, the last day of the longest festive season;

5. ‘Zhongzhou’: the old name for Kaifeng, the Song capital ( in Henan province today); Chinese describe China as Jiuzhou (nine states), Zhongzhou is the middle state.

6. ‘papers of gold’: ornaments made for children’s hairdo at festival times, paper of rolled gold folded and braided like the leaves of willow strands.

Pinyin and Word -For-Word Translation:

yǒng yù lè . luò rì róng jīn

luò rì róng jīn ,

mù yún hé bì ,

rén zài hé chù 。

rǎn liǔ yān nóng ,

chuī méi dí yuàn ,

chūn yì zhī jǐ xǔ 。

yuán xiāo jiā jiē ,

róng hé tiān qì ,

cì dì qǐ wú fēng yǔ 。

lái xiàng zhào 、xiāng chē bǎo mǎ ,

xiè tā jiǔ péng shī lǚ 。

zhōng zhōu shèng rì ,

guī mén duō xiá ,

jì dé piān zhòng sān wǔ 。

pù cuì guàn ér ,

niǎn jīn xuě liǔ ,

cù dài zhēng jì chǔ 。

rú jīn qiáo cuì ,

fēng huán shuāng bìn ,

pà jiàn yè jiān chū qù 。

bú rú xiàng 、lián ér dǐ xià ,

tīng rén xiào yǔ

未经允许不得转载:STUDY IN CHINA GLOBAL (SCG) » Li Qingzhao: Again, the sun melted gold in a jade ring
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