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3 versions of ‘The Lantern Festival Night’

The Lantern Festival Night - to the tune of Green Jade Table



dōng fēng yè fàng huā qiān shù, gèng chuī luò, xīng rú yǔ.


bǎo mǎ diāo chē xiāng mǎn lù, fèng xiāo shēng dòng, hú guāng zhuǎn, yī yè yú lóng wǔ.

宝马雕车香满路,凤萧声动,壶光转,一夜鱼龙舞 。

é ér xuě liǔ huáng jīn lǚ, xiào yǔ yíng yíng àn xiāng qù. 


zhòng lǐ xún tā qiān bǎi dù, mò rán huí shǒu, nà rén què zài, dēng huǒ lán shān chù.


The Lantern Festival Night – to the tune of Green Jade Table

by Xin Qiji (Song Dynasty)

(1) Translated by Xu Yongchong and Xu Ming

One night's east wind adorns a thousand trees with flowers

And blows down stars in showers.

Fine steeds and carved cabs spread fragrance en route;

Music vibrates from the flute;

The moon sheds its full light

While fish and dragon lanterns dance all night.

In gold-thread dress, with moth or willow ornaments,

Giggling, she melts into the throng with trails of scents

But in the crowd once and again

I look for her in vain.

When all at once I turn my head,

I find her there where lantern light is dimly shed.

(2) Translated by U

The east wind at night has flowered a thousand trees,

Bringing showers of glowing stars down streets,

Fleeting our scented chariots and stately steeds.

Phoenix-cooing flutes resounding,

Jade-pot-flashing lanterns revolving,

Dolphins and dragons are dancing away–

All night long it’s bright as day.

See the grain moths silvern, the tassels golden?

See the snow-clad willow twigs of the maidens

Passing with laughter gurgling, fragrance floating?

Far and near, among the crowds surging,

Tens of thousands of rounds for one I’ve been searching;

Only on a glance cast backward do I behold:

There she is, where lights are burning so low!

(3) Translated by Mr. Tao

Night lights a thousand trees in bloom

A shower of stars blown

By the east wind

Ornate carriages drawn by gallant horses

Filled the boulevards with a sweet fragrance

Voice of the magic flute flowing

Luster of the jade white urn turning

All night the fishes and the dragons danced

Butterflies, willows, charms of gold

Gone — that angelic laughter, that subtle perfume

In the crowds for her I’d searched a thousand times

Perchance I turned

And there she was

Where lights were few and dim

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