Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose: Love in Long-life Hall

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Ancient Chinese classic poems are exquisite works of art. As far as 2,000 years ago, Chinese poets composed the beautiful work Book of Poetry and Elegies of the South, Later, they created more splendid Tang poetry and Song lyrics. Such classic works as Thus Spoke the Master and Laws: Divine and Human were extremely significant in building and shaping the culture of the Chinese nation. These works are both a cultural bond linking the thoughts and affections of Chinese people and an important bridge for Chinese culture and the world. Mr. Xu Yuanchong has been engaged in translation for 70 years. In December 2010, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award in Translation conferred by the Translators Association of China (TAC). He is honored as the only expert who translates Chinese poems into both English and French. After his excellent interpretation, many Chinese classic poems have been further refined into perfect English and French rhymes. This collection of Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose gathers his most representative English translations. It includes the classic works Thus Spoke the Master, Laws: Divine and Human and dramas such as Romance of the Western Bower, Dream in Peony Pavilion, Love in Long-life Hall and Peach Blossom Painted with Blood. The largest part of the collection includes the translation of selected poems from different dynasties. The selection includes various types of poems, lyrics and Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasty songs. The selected works start from the pre-Qin era to the Qing Dynasty, covering almost the entire history of classic poems in China. Reading these works is like tasting "living water from the source" of Chinese culture. We hope this collection will help English readers "know, love and appreciate" Chinese classic poems, share the intelligence of Confucius and Lao Tzu, share the gracefulness of Tang Dynasty poems, Song lyrics and classic operas and songs and promote exchanges between Eastern and Western culture. This book is one of the 14 books of Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose, a translation of Confucian classics Thus Spoke the Master.
Table of Contents
目 录

Scene 1 Prologue
第一出 传概
Scene 2 The Pledge
第二出 定情
Scene 3 The Bribe
第三出 贿权
Scene 4 Spring Siesta
第四出 春睡
Scene 5 Spring Excursion
第五出 禊游
Scene 1 The Mystery
第一出 傍讶
Scene 2 Rivalry
第二出 幸恩
Scene 3 A Lock of Hair
第三出 献发
Scene 4 The Recal
第四出 复召
Scene 5 Prediction
第五出 疑谶
Scene 1 Dream Music
第一出 闻乐
Scene 2 Recording the Music
第二出 制谱
Scene 3 The Dispute
第三出 权讧
Scene 4 Stealing the Music
第四出 偷曲
Scene 5 The Feast
第五出 进果
Scene 6 The Round Dance
第六出 舞盘
Scene 1 The Hunt
第一出 合围
Scene 2 A Night of Grief
第二出 夜怨
Scene 3 A Visit to the
Emerald Bower
第三出 絮阁
Scene 4 The Scout’s Report
第四出 侦报
Scene 5 The Bath
第五出 窥浴
Scene 6 The Secret Vow
第六出 密誓
Scene 1 The Fall of the Pass
第一出 陷关
Scene 2 The Alarm
第二出 惊变
Scene 3 Death of Lady Yang
第三出 埋玉

Contents n
目 录 n
Preface n
序 n
第一本 n
Scene 1 Prologue n
第一出 传概 n
Scene 2 The Pledge n
第二出 定情 n
Scene 3 The Bribe n
第三出 贿权 n
Scene 4 Spring Siesta n
第四出 春睡 n
Scene 5 Spring Excursion n
第五出 禊游 n
第二本 n
Scene 1 The Mystery n
第一出 傍讶 n
Scene 2 Rivalry n
第二出 幸恩 n
Scene 3 A Lock of Hair n
第三出 献发 n
Scene 4 The Recal n
第四出 复召 n
Scene 5 Prediction n
第五出 疑谶 n
第三本 n
Scene 1 Dream Music n
第一出 闻乐 n
Scene 2 Recording the Music n
第二出 制谱 n
Scene 3 The Dispute n
第三出 权讧 n
Scene 4 Stealing the Music n
第四出 偷曲 n
Scene 5 The Feast n
第五出 进果 n
Scene 6 The Round Dance n
第六出 舞盘 n
第四本 n
Scene 1 The Hunt n
第一出 合围 n
Scene 2 A Night of Grief n
第二出 夜怨 n
Scene 3 A Visit to the n
Emerald Bower n
第三出 絮阁 n
Scene 4 The Scout’s Report n
第四出 侦报 n
Scene 5 The Bath n
第五出 窥浴 n
Scene 6 The Secret Vow n
第六出 密誓 n
Scene 1 The Fall of the Pass n
第五本 n
第一出 陷关 n
Scene 2 The Alarm n
第二出 惊变 n
Scene 3 Death of Lady Yang n
第三出 埋玉
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Sample pages of Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose: Love in Long-life Hall (ISBN:9787508540290) Sample pages of Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose: Love in Long-life Hall (ISBN:9787508540290) Sample pages of Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose: Love in Long-life Hall (ISBN:9787508540290) Sample pages of Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose: Love in Long-life Hall (ISBN:9787508540290) Sample pages of Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose: Love in Long-life Hall (ISBN:9787508540290) Sample pages of Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose: Love in Long-life Hall (ISBN:9787508540290)

Scene 3 A Lock of Hair
(Prime Minister Yang enters hurriedly.)
Yang: The weather fair may turn windy outright;
Weal turns to woe when morning turns to night.
I am Prime Minister Yang. Since my cousin became the emperor’s
favorite, our power has grown daily. Who could foretell that this
morning news would come that she had offended the emperor
and has been dismissed from the palace, and that the eunuch
Gao is bringing her home in a single carriage. This is a terrible
blow! I must go to the gate to meet them. (Exit.)
(Enter Gao leading the way of Lady Yang’s carriage.)
Lady Yang sings to the tune of Gazing on my Homeland:
Fickle are our sovereign’s ways.
Where is his favor of those former days?
His favorite put suddenly apart,
How could he be so hard at heart!
Banished, I feel so desolate
To be severed by the Long Gate.
How deep’s the lonely lane!
As I look back, from grief can I refrain?
(The Prime Minister enters.)
Yang (Greeting her): Your Ladyship!
Gao: After Your Grace has shown Her Ladyship in, I would like to
have a word with you.
Yang: Attendants, tell the maids to take Her Ladyship to the back hall.
(Maids enter, help Lady Yang out of the carriage and lead her off.)
(Greeting Gao): Be seated, my lord. Would you please tell me
how this happened?
Gao sings to the tune of A Message:
Our Lady Yang did win
The greatest favor of our sovereign.
Of inner palace she was at the head;
At night she served alone the imperial bed.
But she offended yesterday the royal heart —
I know not how — and like two stars now they’re apart.
If I may speak bluntly, Your Grace,
Her Ladyship’s inclined to be self-willed;
With jealousy her heart’s unduly filled.
Yang: But what can be done now that she is banished?
Gao: You had better go to court to apologize for her, and see how this
can be remedied.
Yang: I shall depend on you to put a word,
So by our sovereign it will be heard.
Gao: You can count on me.
Together: Again the palace flower
Must bloom in royal bower.
Gao: I will take my leave now.
Yang: I am coming with you.
(Calling to an attendant) Tell the maids to look after Her
Ladyship well.
(An attendant’s assent can be heard offstage.)
The magpie goes together with crow.
I do not know if it is weal or woe. (They leave.)
(Enter Lady Yang with a maid.)
第三出 献 发
【仙吕 过曲】【望吾乡】(丑引旦乘车上)无定君心,恩光那处寻?蛾眉忽地遭窨[1],思量就里知他怎?弃掷何偏甚!长门隔,永巷深[2]。回首处愁难禁。
【中吕 引子】【行香子】(旦引梅香上)乍出宫门,未定惊魂,渍愁妆满面啼痕。其间心事,多少难论。但惜芳容,怜薄命,忆深恩。
【中吕 过曲】【榴花泣】【石榴花】罗衣拂拭犹是御香熏,向何处谢前恩?想春游春从晓和昏,【泣颜回】岂知有断雨残云。我含娇带嗔,往常间他百样相依顺,不提防为着横枝[19],陡然把连理轻分。


On seventh day of seventh moon when none was near,
At midnight in Long-life Hall he whispered in her ear:
“On high we would be two birds flying wing to wing;
On earth two trees with branches twined from spring to spring.”
Such is the love story of Emperor Xuan Zong of the Tang Dynasty and his favorite Lady Yang, as told by Bai Juyi in his Song of Everlasting Regret. Such is also the theme of the tragedy of Love in Long-life Hall written by Hong Sheng of Qing dynasty. The emperor’s love for his Lady which ends in the army’s revolt and in her tragic death is considered as a turning point of Tang dynasty’s decline and fall. Since olden days the rise and fall of dynasties hinge more or less on the fate of a beauty. It is true not only in the East but also in the West; for instance, the fate of Roman Empire might have been altered by the life or death of the Queen of Egypt. As Pascal said, if the nose of Cleopatra, Egyptian Queen, had been an inch longer, the history of Roman Empire might have been rewritten, for if she were not so bewitching, the Roman General might not have fallen in love with her and lost the empire.
Cleopatra was hundreds of years earlier than Lady Yang of the Tang dynasty. Her contemporary was Lady Li, favorite of the Martial Emperor of the Han dynasty, whose beauty is glorified in the following poem:
There is a beauty in the northern lands,
Unequalled, high above the world she stands.
At her first glance, soldiers would lose their town;
At her second, the monarch would lose his crown.
How could monarch and soldiers neglect their duty?
For crown and town are overshadowed by her beauty.
But the Martial Emperor did not neglect his duty. Instead, he sacrificed the beauty for his empire, and after her death he wrote an elegy, in which he said how lonely and dreary he felt on seeing her robe without finding her person, and on walking along the marble steps without seeing her foot print. Even when he found a fallen leaf on the threshold of her bedroom deserted and empty, he would think it transformed by her soul unwilling to tear herself away from her former abode. Her bedroom, her silk robe, the marble steps belong to the external world, while the emperor’s grief and loneliness to his internal world. Here we see the external world is described to reveal the internal world. In other words, scenic expressions are used as lyric expressions. Such is the method used in poetry.
In the Book of Poetry compiled in the 5th Century B. C., poetry may be divided into three kinds: songs, odes (including feastal and epical odes) and hymns. As for the art of versification, three methods are used, that is, narration, comparison and association. This tradition has been inherited and developed, in scenical as well as lyrical expressions. For instance, we may read Li Bai’s description of the beauty of Lady Yang:
Her face is seen in flowers and her dress in cloud,
A beauty by the rails caressed by vernal breeze.
If not a fairy queen from Jade Mountain proud,
She’s Goddess of the Moon in crystal hall one sees.
In the first two lines we see the poet compares the lady to a flower, and in the second she is associated with a fairy queen and the Moon Goddess. That is to say, comparison and association are used. In Bai Juyi’s Song of Everlasting Regret, we find verses describing Lady Yang:
Turning her head, she smiled so sweet and full of grace That she outshone in six palaces the fairest face.
In the first line narration is used, while in the second the lady is compared with or contrasted against the fairest face to emphasize her beauty.


Classical Chinese Poetry and Prose: Love in Long-life Hall