汉乐府 Music Bureau

The Music Bureau (Traditional Chinese: 樂府; Simplified Chinese: 乐府; Hanyu Pinyin: yuèfǔ, and sometimes known as the "Imperial Music Bureau") served in the capacity of an organ of various imperial government bureaucracies of China: discontinuously and in various incarnations, the Music Bureau was charged directly, by the emperor (or other monarchical ruler), or indirectly, through the royal (or imperial) government to perform various tasks related to music, poetry, entertainment, or religious worship. These tasks included both musical and lyrical research and development, and also directing performance acts. The existence of a Music Bureau was typical of various Chinese dynasties, though the Music Bureau's prominence and influence may have peaked during the reign of Han Dynasty emperor Wu, who was especially interested in such activities and engaged himself accordingly. The songs/poems collected or developed by the Han music bureau received the appellation of "yuefu"; but, eventually, the term "Music Bureau", or yuefu (also, yueh-fu) also came to be applied to a category of Classical Chinese poetry which was based upon the standard forms and themes documented or promoted by the Music Bureau staff during the Han Dynasty. Known as yuefu (meaning, "in the style of the Music Bureau poetry), this type of poetry made major contributions to Han poetry, as well as the Jian'an poetry of the late Han and early Six Dynasties. There was also an important and later Tang poetry literary revival of the yuefu poetic forms. The mission of the Music Bureau was concerned with poetry, music, and their live performances, because these concepts were not really considered to be distinct: lyrics are a part of music, and traditional Chinese poems, particularly shi were considered to be suitable for chanting or singing, and poetic verses in accompaniment with instrumental music were often presented together as integral parts of performances. In the case of the Music Bureau, performances were oriented towards religious rites or entertainment in service to the emperor.

More Detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_Bureau

十五从军征 Home-coming after War

Author: -- 汉乐府 Music Bureau
十五从军征,
At fifteen I left home to fight the foe
八十始得归。
And cannot come back till I am fourscore.
道逢乡里人:
On the way I meet a countryman I know;
“家中有阿谁?”
I ask him who remains within my door.
“遥看是君家,
"Seen from afar, your house is over there,
松柏冢累累。”
Mid graves where pine and cypress stand aloof."
兔从狗窦入,
Arrived, I see in dog hole run a hare
雉从梁上飞。
And pheasants fly from the beam of my roof.
中庭生旅谷,
In middle courtyard grows only wild grain
井上生旅葵。
And by the well grows mallow I can eat.
舂谷持作饭,
I pluck the grain and boil it as food plain
采葵持作羹。
And put the mallow in the soup I heat.
羹饭一时熟,
When I have cooked the simple, homely fare,
不知贻阿谁?
Who will eat it with me? No one appears.
出门东向看,
I go outdoors and eastwards fix my stare,
泪落沾我衣。
My furrowed face and clothes wet with tears.

东门行 Song of the East Gate

Author: -- 汉乐府 Music Bureau
出东门,
Out of East Gate,
不顾归;
He won't come back,
来入门,
Now back again,
怅欲悲;
He finds the lack
盎中无斗米储,
Of rice in the pot,
还视架上无悬衣。
And coat on the peg.
拔剑东门去,
With pain
舍中儿母牵衣啼:
He grieves,
“他家但愿富贵,
Sword in hand, he starts out; his wife
贱妾与君共哺糜。
Clutches at his sleeves
上用仓浪天故,
And weeps to beg
下当用此黄口儿,
Him not
今非!”
To risk his life.
“咄!行!吾去为迟!
"Others for wealth may care;
白发时下难久居。”
Your gruel I would share.

战城南 Fighting South of the Town

Author: -- 汉乐府 Music Bureau
战城南,
Fighting south of the town,
死郭北,
Men were killed up and down.
野死不葬乌可食。
On those unburied in the wilds crows might be fed,
为我谓乌:
But I would tell the crows to cry first for the dead:
“且为客豪!
"Unburied,they're exposed to view.
野死谅不葬,
How can their carrion escape you?"
腐肉安能去子逃?”
Clear, clear streams sigh;
水声激激,
Dark, dark reeds sway.
蒲苇冥冥;
Brave horsemen die;
枭骑战斗死,
Wounded steeds neigh.
驽马徘徊鸣。
How to build on the plain
梁筑室,
Bridge and house north and south?
何以南?
When we can reap nor com nor grain,
何以北?
With what to feed the monarch's mouth?
禾黍不获君何食?
O how can we be then
愿为忠臣安可得?
Subjects loyal to his majesty?
思子良臣,
Think of those loyal men
良臣诚可思:
Who are worthy of our memory!
朝行出攻,
They went out in the mom to fight
暮不夜归!
But never to come back at night!

长歌行 A Slow Song

Author: -- 汉乐府 Music Bureau
青青园中葵,
The mallow in the garden green in hue
朝露待日晞。
Awaits the sun to dry the morning dew.
阳春布德泽,
The radiant spring spreads its nourishing light;
万物生光辉。
All living things become then fresh and bright.
常恐秋节至,
I dread the coming of the autumn drear
焜黄华叶衰。
When leaves turn yellow and red flowers sere.
百川东到海,
A hundred streams flow eastwards to the sea.
何时复西归?
When to return to the west can they be free?
少壮不努力,
If one does not make good use of his youth,
老大徒伤悲。
In vain will he pass his old age in ruth.

陌上桑 The Roadside Mulberry

Author: -- 汉乐府 Music Bureau
日出东南隅,
In the southeast rises the sun;
照我秦氏楼。
It shines on the House of Qin where
秦氏有好女,
Lives a beauty second to none,
自名为罗敷。
Who calls herself Luofu the fair.
罗敷喜蚕桑,
Silkworms with mulberry are fed;
采桑城南隅。
She picks its leaves in southern nook.
青丝为笼系,
Her basket bound with blue silk thread,
桂枝为笼钩。
Of laurel twig she'd made a hook.
头上倭堕髻,
Her "falling" chignon black like jade,
耳中明月珠。
Like moonbeams her pearl ear-rings shine.
缃绮为下裙,
Of yellow silk her apron's made,
紫绮为上襦。
Her cloak of purple damask fine.
行者见罗敷,
When wayfarers see her pass by,
下担捋髭须。
They put loads down and stroke their beard
少年见罗敷,
Young men would stare with open eyes
脱帽着帩头。
And doff caps to show she's revered.
耕者忘其犁,
The plowmen would forget their plows;
锄者忘其锄。
The hoers forget the hoes they wield.
来归相怨怒,
At their wives they knit angry brows,
但坐观罗敷。
Not so fair as Luofu afield.
使君从南来,
From the south comes the governor;
五马立踟蹰。
His cab and five steeds won't go on.
使君遣吏往,
He sends forward an officer
问是谁家姝?
To ask who she is, fair as swan.
“秦氏有好女,
"I am a daughter of the Qins;
自名为罗敷。”
And I'm called Luofu by my kins."
“罗敷年几何?”
"How old are you?"
“二十尚不足,
"Not yet a score,
十五颇有余”。
But I'm more than fifteen, much more."
使君谢罗敷:
The lord comes then to ask Luofu,
“宁可共载不?”
"Will you please ride with me, will you?"
罗敷前置词:
Luofu steps forth and makes reply,
“使君一何愚!
"What nonsense you are talking! Why!
使君自有妇,
Your Excellency has his wife;
罗敷自有夫。
I have my husband dear for life.
东方千余骑,
There're in the east a thousand steeds
夫婿居上头。
And horsemen whom my husband leads.
何用识夫婿?
How can you know my husband bright?
白马从骊驹;
A black colt follows his horse white,
青丝系马尾,
Whose tail is tied with a blue thread,
黄金络马头;
With golden halters round its head.
腰中鹿卢剑,
He wears a sword with hilt of jade,
可值千万余。
For which its weight in gold was paid.
十五府小吏,
At fifteen he was junior clerk;
二十朝大夫,
At twenty he did courtier's work;
三十侍中郎,
At thirty in chamberlain's gown,
四十专城居。
At forty he,s lord of a town.
为人洁白皙,
His face is fair, his skin is white,
鬑鬑颇有须。
His hair is fine, his beard is slight.
盈盈公府步,
He walks in the hall at slow pace
冉冉府中趋。
And goes to the palace with grace.
坐中数千人,
'Mid thousands come from east and west,
皆言夫婿殊。”
All say my husband is the best."

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