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A song of fair women – Du Fu

On the third day of the Third-month in the freshening weather
Many beauties take the air by the Changan waterfront,
Receptive, aloof, sweet-mannered, sincere,
With soft fine skin and well-balanced bone.
Their embroidered silk robes in the spring sun are gleaming —
With a mass of golden peacocks and silver unicorns.
And hanging far down from their temples
Are blue leaves of delicate kingfisher feathers.
And following behind them
Is a pearl-laden train, rhythmic with bearers.
Some of them are kindred to the Royal House —
The titled Princesses Guo and Qin.
Red camel-humps are brought them from jade broilers,
And sweet fish is ordered them on crystal trays.
Though their food-sticks of unicorn-horn are lifted languidly
And the finely wrought phoenix carving-knife is very little used,
Fleet horses from the Yellow Gate, stirring no dust,
Bring precious dishes constantly from the imperial kitchen.
…While a solemn sound of flutes and drums invokes gods and spirits,
Guests and courtiers gather, all of high rank;
And finally, riding slow, a dignified horseman
Dismounts at the pavilion on an embroidered rug.
In a snow of flying willow-cotton whitening the duckweed,
Bluebirds find their way with vermilion handkerchiefs —
But power can be as hot as flame and burn people’s fingers.
Be wary of the Premier, watch for his frown.


三月三日天气新, 长安水边多丽人。
态浓意远淑且真, 肌理细腻骨肉匀。
绣罗衣裳照暮春, 蹙金孔雀银麒麟。
头上何所有? 翠微盍叶垂鬓唇。
背后何所见? 珠压腰衱稳称身。
就中云幕椒房亲, 赐名大国虢与秦。
紫驼之峰出翠釜, 水精之盘行素鳞。
犀箸餍饫久未下, 鸾刀缕切空纷纶。
黄门飞鞚不动尘, 御厨络绎送八珍。
箫鼓哀吟感鬼神, 宾从杂遝实要津。
后来鞍马何逡巡? 当轩下马入锦茵。
杨花雪落覆白苹, 青鸟飞去衔红巾。
炙手可热势绝伦, 慎莫近前丞相嗔。

2016-06-23

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