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Su Dongpo: Evening, Drop Anchor at Niukou

Evening, Drop Anchor in Niukou

夜 泊 牛 口
日 落 红 雾 生
系 舟 宿 牛 口。
民 居 偶 相 聚
三 四 依 古 柳。
负 薪 出 深 谷
见 客 喜 且 售。
煮 蔬 为 夜 飧
安 识 肉 与 酒。
朔 风 吹 茅 屋
破 壁 见 星 斗。
儿 女 自 咿 嚘
亦 足 乐 且 久。
人 生 本 无 事
苦 为 世 味 诱。
富 贵 耀 吾 前
贫 贱 独 难 守。
谁 知 深 山 子
甘 与 麋 鹿 友。
置 身 落 蛮 荒
生 意 不 自 陋。
今 予 独 何 者
汲 汲 强 奔 走。


Ye Bo Niu Kou

Ri luo hong wu sheng
Xi zhou su niu kou.
Min ju ou xiang ju
San si yi gu liu.

Fu xin chu shen gu
Jian ke xi qie shou.
Zhu shu wei ye sun
An shi rou you jiu.

Shuo feng chui mao wu
Po bi jian xing dou.
Er nu zi yi you
Yi zu le qie jiu.

Ren sheng ben wu shi
Ku wei shi wei you.
Fu gui yao wu qian
Pin jian du nan shou.

Shei zhi shen shan zi
Gan you mi lu you.
Zhi shen luo man huang
Sheng yi bu zi lou.
Jin yu du he zhe
Ji ji qiang ben zou.


Evening, Drop Anchor at Niukou

Sunset, red mists emerge
Tie up, stay overnight at Niukou.
Local people occasionally gather together here
They come out of the deep valley carrying firewood on their backs
Happy to see me, a visitor who can also be a customer.

They cook vegetables to make the evening meal
But cannot offer any meat or wine.
North wind blows the thatched huts
Through breaks and gaps in the roof can see the Big Dipper.

Hear the children chattering among themselves
Just enough to eat to be happy for a long time.
Human experience was originally without cares and troubles
But suffering arrives when time is spent chasing temptations of sensual pleasures.

Many people wish for wealth and display of wealth
Difficult for the poor and humble to watch this display.
Who knew these deep mountain people
Would be so willing to have the animals as their friends.

To establish a life in the barbarous and remote country
They still have a feeling of hope and success, and do not feel deprived in any way.
Today, only I derive a little strength from running quickly around and around.



Niukou: Located in the province of Hubei.



This poems is saturated with the observations, insights, and sentiments of Laozi in his Dao De Jing, as well as Tao Yuanming’s poem “Peach Blossom River Source”.  Both of these works can also be found on this website.

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