X

The Lament (离骚,Li Sao, Guqin, 古琴曲)

The Lament (离骚,Li Sao, Guqin, 古琴曲) was composed by Cheng Kangshi (陈康士) in late Tang Dynasty based  on  poem The Lament (Li Sao), authored by Qu Yuan (340-278 BC)  in the Warring States period of ancient China.

This long lyrical poem describes the search and disillusionment of a soul in agony, riding on dragons and serpents from heaven to earth. By means of rich imagery and skillful similes, it expresses love of one’s country and the sadness of separation. It touches upon various historical themes intermingled with legends and myths, and depicts, directly or indirectly, the social conditions of that time and the complex destinies of the city states of ancient China. The conflict between the individual and the ruling group is repeatedly described, while at the same time the poet affirms his determination to fight for justice. This passionate desire to save his country, and this love for the people, account for the poem’s splendor and immortality.

离骚:古琴曲,晚唐陈康士根据屈原同名抒情长诗而作。曲谱最早见于《神奇秘谱》。原曲为九段,后人衍为十八段。此曲抒发了伟大爱国诗人屈原惨遭奸谗后的忧郁和苦闷,以及思乡爱国的崇高感情。

Length: 10’26”

Play with HTML 5 Player, no flash required, no software required.

 

If you browser does not support HTML 5, you may use flash player below. Your browser must support Flash.

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Download MP3 of The Lament (离骚,Li Sao, Guqin, 古琴曲)

The Lament (离骚,Li Sao, Guqin, 古琴曲) MP3 download link (right click, save link as):The Lament (离骚,Li Sao, Guqin, 古琴曲) MP3.

Listen more Guqin tunes? Back to Guqin (古琴)  page.

Or  back to our Chinese Classical Music Media Library main page.

 

帝高阳之苗裔兮,朕皇考曰伯庸。摄提贞于孟陬兮,惟庚寅吾以降。
皇览揆余初度兮,肇锡余以嘉名:名余曰正则兮,字余曰灵均。
纷吾既有此内美兮,又重之以修能。扈江离与辟芷兮,纫秋兰以为佩。
汨余若将不及兮,恐年岁之不吾与。朝搴阰之木兰兮,夕揽洲之宿莽。
日月忽其不淹兮,春与秋其代序。惟草木之零落兮,恐美人之迟暮。
不抚壮而弃秽兮,何不改乎此度?乘骐骥以驰骋兮,来吾道夫先路!

昔三后之纯粹兮,固众芳之所在。 杂申椒与菌桂兮,岂维纫夫蕙茝!
彼尧、舜之耿介兮,既遵道而得路。 何桀纣之昌披兮,夫唯捷径以窘步。
惟党人之偷乐兮,路幽昧以险隘。 岂余身之僤殃兮,恐皇舆之败绩!
忽奔走以先后兮,及前王之踵武。 荃不揆余之中情兮,反信谗以怒。
余固知謇謇之为患兮,忍而不能舍也。 指九天以为正兮,夫唯灵修之故也。
曰黄昏以为期兮,羌中道而改路! 初既与余成言兮,后悔遁而有他。
余既不难夫离别兮,伤灵修之数化。

余既滋兰之九畹兮,又树蕙之百亩。
畦留夷与揭车兮,杂杜衡与芳芷。 冀枝叶之峻茂兮,原俟时乎吾将刈。
虽萎绝其亦何伤兮,哀众芳之芜秽。 众皆竞进以贪婪兮,凭不厌乎求索。
羌内恕己以量人兮,各兴心而嫉妒。 忽驰骛以追逐兮,非余心之所急。
老冉冉其将至兮,恐修名之不立。 朝饮木兰之坠露兮,夕餐秋菊之落英。
苟余情其信姱以练要兮,长顑颔亦何伤。 掔木根以结茝兮,贯薜荔之落蕊。
矫菌桂以纫蕙兮,索胡绳之纚々。 謇吾法夫前修兮,非世俗之所服。
虽不周於今之人兮,原依彭咸之遗则。

长太息以掩涕兮,哀民生之多艰。
余虽好修姱以鞿羁兮,謇朝谇而夕替。
既替余以蕙纕兮,又申之以揽茝。
亦余心之所善兮,虽九死其犹未悔。
怨灵修之浩荡兮,终不察夫民心。
众女嫉余之蛾眉兮,谣诼谓余以善淫。
固时俗之工巧兮,偭规矩而改错。
背绳墨以追曲兮,竞周容以为度。
忳郁邑余佗傺兮,吾独穷困乎此时也。
宁溘死以流亡兮,余不忍为此态也。
鸷鸟之不群兮,自前世而固然。
何方圜之能周兮,夫孰异道而相安?
屈心而抑志兮,忍尤而攘诟。
伏清白以死直兮,固前圣之所厚。

悔相道之不察兮,延伫乎吾将反。回朕车以复路兮,及行迷之未远。
步余马於兰皋兮,驰椒丘且焉止息。进不入以离尤兮,退将复修吾初服。
制芰荷以为衣兮,集芙蓉以为裳。不吾知其亦已兮,苟余情其信芳。
高余冠之岌岌兮,长余佩之陆离。芳与泽其杂糅兮,唯昭质其犹未亏。
忽反顾以游目兮,将往观乎四荒。佩缤纷其繁饰兮,芳菲菲其弥章。
民生各有所乐兮,余独好修以为常。虽体解吾犹未变兮,岂余心之可惩。

女嬃之婵媛兮,申申其詈予,曰:
“鲧婞直以亡身兮,终然夭乎羽之野。
汝何博謇而好修兮,纷独有此姱节?
薋菉葹以盈室兮,判独离而不服。”
众不可户说兮,孰云察余之中情?
世并举而好朋兮,夫何茕独而不予听?
依前圣以节中兮,喟凭心而历兹。
济沅、湘以南征兮,就重华而陈词:
启《九辨》与《九歌》兮,夏康娱以自纵。
不顾难以图后兮,五子用失乎家巷。
羿淫游以佚畋兮,又好射夫封狐。
固乱流其鲜终兮,浞又贪夫厥家。
浇身被服强圉兮,纵欲而不忍。
日康娱而自忘兮,厥首用夫颠陨。
夏桀之常违兮,乃遂焉而逢殃。
后辛之菹醢兮,殷宗用而不长。
汤、禹俨而祗敬兮,周论道而莫差。
举贤才而授能兮,循绳墨而不颇。
皇天无私阿兮,览民德焉错辅。
夫维圣哲以茂行兮,苟得用此下土。
瞻前而顾后兮,相观民之计极。
夫孰非义而可用兮?孰非善而可服?
阽余身而危死兮,览余初其犹未悔。
不量凿而正枘兮,固前修以菹醢。
曾歔欷余郁邑兮,哀朕时之不当。
揽茹蕙以掩涕兮,霑余襟之浪浪。

跪敷衽以陈辞兮,耿吾既得此中正。
驷玉虬以桀鹥兮,溘埃风余上征。
朝发轫於苍梧兮,夕余至乎县圃。
欲少留此灵琐兮,日忽忽其将暮。
吾令羲和弭节兮,望崦嵫而勿迫。
路曼曼其修远兮,吾将上下而求索。
饮余马於咸池兮,总余辔乎扶桑。
折若木以拂日兮,聊逍遥以相羊。
前望舒使先驱兮,后飞廉使奔属。
鸾皇为余先戒兮,雷师告余以未具。
吾令凤鸟飞腾兮,继之以日夜。
飘风屯其相离兮,帅云霓而来御。
纷总总其离合兮,斑陆离其上下。
吾令帝阍开关兮,倚阊阖而望予。
时暧暧其将罢兮,结幽兰而延儜。
世溷浊而不分兮,好蔽美而嫉妒。

朝吾将济於白水兮,登阆风而絏马。
忽反顾以流涕兮,哀高丘之无女。
溘吾游此春宫兮,折琼枝以继佩。
及荣华之未落兮,相下女之可诒。
吾令丰隆乘云兮,求宓妃之所在。
解佩纕以结言兮,吾令謇修以为理。
纷总总其离合兮,忽纬繣其难迁。
夕归次於穷石兮,朝濯发乎洧盘。
保厥美以骄傲兮,日康娱以淫游。
虽信美而无礼兮,来违弃而改求。
览相观於四极兮,周流乎天余乃下。
望瑶台之偃蹇兮,见有娀之佚女。
吾令雁为媒兮,雁告余以不好。
雄鸠之鸣逝兮,余犹恶其佻巧。
心犹豫而狐疑兮,欲自适而不可。
凤皇既受诒兮,恐高辛之先我。
欲远集而无所止兮,聊浮游以逍遥。
及少康之未家兮,留有虞之二姚。
理弱而媒拙兮,恐导言之不固。
世溷浊而嫉贤兮,好蔽美而称恶。
闺中既以邃远兮,哲王又不寤。
怀朕情而不发兮,余焉能忍而与此终古?

索琼茅以筳篿兮,命灵氛为余占之。
曰:“两美其必合兮,孰信修而慕之?
思九州之博大兮,岂惟是其有女?”
曰:“勉远逝而无狐疑兮,孰求美而释女?
何所独无芳草兮,尔何怀乎故宇?”
世幽昧以昡曜兮,孰云察余之善恶?
民好恶其不同兮,惟此党人其独异!
户服艾以盈要兮,谓幽兰其不可佩。
览察草木其犹未得兮,岂珵美之能当?
苏粪壤以充祎兮,谓申椒其不芳。

欲从灵氛之吉占兮,心犹豫而狐疑。
巫咸将夕降兮,怀椒糈而要之。
百神翳其备降兮,九疑缤其并迎。
皇剡剡其扬灵兮,告余以吉故。
曰:“勉升降以上下兮,求矩矱之所同。
汤、禹俨而求合兮,挚、咎繇而能调。
苟中情其好修兮,又何必用夫行媒?
说操筑於傅岩兮,武丁用而不疑。
吕望之鼓刀兮,遭周文而得举。
甯戚之讴歌兮,齐桓闻以该辅。
及年岁之未晏兮,时亦犹其未央。
恐鹈鴂之先鸣兮,使夫百草为之不芳。”
何琼佩之偃蹇兮,众薆然而蔽之。
惟此党人之不谅兮,恐嫉妒而折之。
时缤纷其变易兮,又何可以淹留?
兰芷变而不芳兮,荃蕙化而为茅。
何昔日之芳草兮,今直为此萧艾也?
岂其有他故兮,莫好修之害也!
余以兰为可恃兮,羌无实而容长。
委厥美以从俗兮,苟得列乎众芳。
椒专佞以慢慆兮,榝又欲充夫佩帏。
既干进而务入兮,又何芳之能祗?
固时俗之流从兮,又孰能无变化?
览椒兰其若兹兮,又况揭车与江离?
惟兹佩之可贵兮,委厥美而历兹。
芳菲菲而难亏兮,芬至今犹未沬。
和调度以自娱兮,聊浮游而求女。
及余饰之方壮兮,周流观乎上下。

灵氛既告余以吉占兮,历吉日乎吾将行。
折琼枝以为羞兮,精琼爢以为粻。
为余驾飞龙兮,杂瑶象以为车。
何离心之可同兮?吾将远逝以自疏。
邅吾道夫昆仑兮,路修远以周流。
扬云霓之奄蔼兮,鸣玉鸾之啾啾。
朝发轫於天津兮,夕余至乎西极。
凤皇翼其承旗兮,高翱翔之翼翼。
忽吾行此流沙兮,遵赤水而容与。
麾蛟龙使梁津兮,诏西皇使涉予。
路修远以多艰兮,腾众车使径待。
路不周以左转兮,指西海以为期。
屯余车其千乘兮,齐玉轪而并驰。
驾八龙之婉婉兮,载云旗之委蛇。
抑志而弭节兮,神高驰之邈邈。
奏《九歌》而舞《韶》兮,聊假日以偷乐。
陟升皇之赫戏兮,忽临睨夫旧乡。
仆夫悲余马怀兮,蜷局顾而不行。
乱曰:已矣哉!国无人莫我知兮,又何怀乎故都!
既莫足与为美政兮,吾将从彭咸之所居!

English translation by???

A prince am I of ancestry renowned,
Illustrious name my royal sire hath found.
When Sirius did in spring its light display,
A child was born, and Tiger marked the day.
When first upon my face my lord’s eye glanced,
For me auspicious names he straight advanced,
Denoting that in me Heaven’s marks divine
Should with the virtues of the earth combine.
With lavished innate qualities indued,
By art and skill my talents I renewed;
Angelic herbs and sweet selineas too,
And orchids late that by the water grew,
I wove for ornament; till creeping Time,
Like water flowing, stole away my prime.
Magnolias of the glade I plucked at dawn,
At eve beside the stream took winter-thorn.
Without delay the sun and moon sped fast,
In swift succession spring and autumn passed;
The fallen flowers lay scattered on the ground,
The dusk might fall before my dream was found.

Had I not loved my prime and spurned the vile,
Why should I not have changed my former style?
My chariot drawn by steeds of race divine
I urged; to guide the king my sole design.

Three ancient kings there were so pure and true
That round them every fragrant flower grew;
Cassia and pepper of the mountain-side
With melilotus white in clusters vied.
Two monarchs then, who high renown received,
Followed the kingly way, their goal achieved.
Two princes proud by lust their reign abused,
Sought easier path, and their own steps confused.
The faction for illict pleasure longed;
Dreadful their way where hidden perils thronged.
Danger against myself could not appal,
But feared I lest my sovereign’s sceptre fall.

Forward and back I hastened in my quest,
Followed the former kings, and took no rest.
The prince my true integrity defamed,
Gave ear to slander, high his anger flamed;
Integrity I knew could not avail,
Yet still endured; my lord I would not fail.
Celestial spheres my witness be on high,
I strove but for his sacred majesty.
Twas first to me he gave his plighted word,
But soon repenting other counsel heard.
For me departure could arouse no pain;
I grieved to see his royal purpose vain.

Nine fields of orchids at one time I grew,
For melilot a hundred acres too,
And fifty acres for the azalea bright,
The rumex fragrant and the lichen white.
I longed to see them yielding blossoms rare,
And thought in season due the spoil to share.
I did not grieve to see them die away,
But grieved because midst weeds they did decay.

Insatiable in lust and greediness
The faction strove, and tired not of excess;
Themselves condoning, others they’d decry,
And steep their hearts in envious jealousy.

Insatiably they seized what they desired,
It was not that to which my heart aspired.
As old age unrelenting hurried near,
Lest my fair name should fail was all my fear.
Dew from magnolia leaves I drank at dawn,
At eve for food were aster petals borne;
And loving thus the simple and the fair,
How should I for my sallow features care?
With gathered vines I strung valeria white,
And mixed with blue wistaria petals bright,
And melilotus matched with cassia sweet,
With ivy green and tendrils long to meet.
Life I adapted to the ancient way,
Leaving the manners of the present day;
Thus unconforming to the modern age,
The path I followed of a bygone sage.

Long did I sigh and wipe away my tears,
To see my people bowed by griefs and fears.
Though I my gifts enhanced and curbed my pride,
At morn they’d mock me, would at eve deride;
First cursed that I angelica should wear,
Then cursed me for my melilotus fair.
But since my heart did love such purity,
I’d not regret a thousand deaths to die.

I marvel at the folly of the king,
So heedless of his people’s suffering.
They envied me my mothlike eyebrows fine,
And so my name his damsels did malign.
Truly to craft alone their praise they paid,
The square in measuring they disobeyed;
The use of common rules they held debased;
With confidence their crooked lines they traced.

In sadness plunged and sunk in deepest gloom,
Alone I drove on to my dreary doom.
In exile rather would I meet my end,
Than to the baseness of their ways descend.
Remote the eagle spurns the common range,
Nor deigns since time began its way to change;
A circle fits not with a square design;
Their different ways could not be merged with mine.
Yet still my heart I checked and curbed my pride,
Their blame endured and their reproach beside.
To die for righteousness alone I sought,
For this was what the ancient sages taught.

I failed my former errors to discern;
I tarried long, but now I would return.
My steeds I wheeled back to their former way,
Lest all too long down the wrong path I stray.
On orchid-covered bank I loosed my steed,
And let him gallop by the flow’ry mead
At will. Rejected now and in disgrace,
I would retire to cultivate my grace.
With cress leaves green my simple gown I made,
With lilies white my rustic garb did braid.
Why should I grieve to go unrecognised,
Since in my heart fragrance was truly prized?
My headdress then high-pinnacled I raised,
Lengthened my pendents, where bright jewels blazed.
Others may smirch their fragrance and bright hues,
My innocence is proof against abuse.
Oft I looked back, gazed to the distance still,
Longed in the wilderness to roam at will.
Splendid my ornaments together vied,
With all the fragrance of the flowers beside;
All men had pleasures in their various ways,
My pleasure was to cultivate my grace.
I would not change, though they my body rend;
How could my heart be wrested from its end?

My handmaid fair, with countenance demure,
Entreated me allegiance to abjure:
“A hero perished in the plain ill-starred,
Where pigmies stayed their plumage to discard.
Why lovest thou thy grace and purity,
Alone dost hold thy splendid virtue high?
Lentils and weeds the prince’s chamber fill:
Why holdest thou aloof with stubborn will?
Thou canst not one by one the crowd persuade,
And who the purpose of our heart hath weighed?
Faction and strife the world hath ever loved;
Heeding me not, why standest thou removed?”

I sought th’ancestral voice to ease my woe.
Alas, how one so proud could sink so low!
To barbarous south I went across the stream;
Before the ancient I began my theme:
“With odes divine there came a monarch’s son,
Whose revels unrestrained were never done;
In antics wild, to coming perils blind,
He fought his brother, and his sway declined.
The royal archer, in his wanton chase
For foxes huge, his kingdom did disgrace.
Such wantonness predicts no happy end;
His queen was stolen by his loyal friend.
The traitor’s son, clad in prodigious might,
In incest sinned and cared not what was right.
He revelled all his days, forgetting all;
His head at last in treachery did fall.
And then the prince, who counsels disobeyed,
Did court disaster, and his kingdom fade.
A prince his sage in burning cauldrons tossed;
His glorious dynasty ere long was lost.

“But stern and pious was their ancient sire,
And his successor too did faith inspire;
Exalted were the wise, the able used,
The rule was kept and never was abused.
The august heaven, with unbiassed grace,
All men discerns, and helps the virtuous race;
Sagacious princes through their virtuous deed
The earth inherit, and their reigns succeed.
The past I probed, the future so to scan,
And found these rules that guide the life of man:
A man unjust in deed who would engage?
Whom should men take as guide except the sage?
In mortal dangers death I have defied,
Yet could look back, and cast regret aside.
Who strove, their tool’s defects accounting nought,
Like ancient sages were to cauldrons brought.”
Thus I despaired, my face with sad tears marred,
Mourning with bitterness my years ill-starred;
And melilotus leaves I took to stem
The tears that streamed down to my garment’s hem.
Soiling my gown, to plead my case I kneeled;
Th’ancestral voice the path to me revealed.

Swift jade-green dragons, birds with plumage gold,
I harnessed to the whirlwind, and behold,
At daybreak from the land of plane-trees grey,
I came to paradise ere close of day.
I wished within the sacred brove to rest,
But now the sun was sinking in the west;
The driver of the sun I bade to stay,
Ere with the setting rays we haste away.
The way was long, and wrapped in gloom did seem,
As I urged on to seek my vanished dream.

The dragons quenched their thirst beside the lake
Where bathed the sun, whilst I upon the brake
Fastened my reins; a golden bough I sought
To brush the sun, and tarred there in sport.
The pale moon’s charioteer I then bade lead,
The master of the winds swiftly succeed;
Before, the royal blue bird cleared the way;
The lord of thunder urged me to delay.
I bade the phoenix scan the heaven wide;
But vainly day and night its course it tried;
The gathering whirlwinds drove it from my sight,
Rushing with lowering clouds to check my flight;
Sifting and merging in the firmament,
Above, below, in various hues they went.

The gate-keeper of heaven I bade give place,
But leaning on his door he scanned my face;
The day grew dark, and now was nearly spent;
Idly my orchids into wreaths I bent.
The virtuous and the vile in darkness merged;
They veiled my virtue, by their envy urged.
At dawn the waters white I left behind;
My steed stayed by the portals of the wind;
Yet, gazing back, a bitter grief I felt
That in the lofty crag no damsel dwelt.

I wandered eastward to the palace green,
And pendents sought where jasper boughs were seen,
And vowed that they, before their splendour fade,
As gift should go to grace the loveliest maid.
The lord of clouds I then bade mount the sky
To seek the steam where once the nymph did lie;
As pledge I gave my belt of splendid sheen,
My councillor appointed go-between.
Fleeting and wilful like capricious cloud,
Her obstinacy swift no change allowed.
At dusk retired she to the crag withdrawn,
Her hair beside the stream she washed at dawn.
Exulting in her beauty and her pride,
Pleasure she worshipped, and no whim denied;
So fair of form, so careless of all grace,
I turned to take another in her place.

To earth’s extremities I sought my bride,
And urged my train through all the heaven wide.
Upon a lofty crag of jasper green
The beauteous princess of the west was seen.
The falcon then I bade entreat the maid,
But he, demurring, would my course dissuade;
The turtle-dove cooed soft and off did fly,
But I mistrusted his frivolity.
Like whelp in doubt, like timid fox in fear,
I wished to go, but wandered ever near.
With nuptial gifts the phoenix swiftly went;
I feared the prince had won her ere I sent.
I longed to travel far, yet with no bourn,
I could but wander aimless and forlorn.
Before the young king was in marriage bound,
The royal sisters twain might still be found;
My suit was unauspicious at the best;
I knew I had small hope in my request.

The world is dark, and envious of my grace;
They veil my virture and the evil praise.
Thy chamber dark lies in recesses deep,
Sagacious prince, risest thou not from sleep?
My zeal unknown the prince would not descry;
How could I bear this harsh eternity?

With mistletoe and herbs of magic worth,
I urged the witch the future to show forth.
“If two attain perfection they must meet,
But who is there that would thy virtue greet?
Far the nine continents their realm display;
Why here to seek thy bride doth thou delay?
Away!” she cried, “set craven doubt aside,
If beauty’s sought, there’s none hath with thee vied.
What place is there where orchids flower not fair?
Why is thy native land thy single care?

“Now darkly lies the world in twilight’s glow,
Who doth your defects and your virtue know?
Evil and good herein are reconciled;
The crowd alone hath nought but is defiled.
With stinking mugwort girt upon their waist,
They curse the others for their orchids chaste;
Ignorant thus in choice of fragrance rare,
Rich ornaments how could they fitly wear?
With mud and filth they fill their pendent bag;
Cursing the pepper sweet, they brawl and brag.”
Although the witches counsel I held good,
In foxlike indecision still I stood.
At night the wizard great made his descent,
And meeting him spiced rice I did present.
The angels came, shading with wings the sky;
From mountains wild the deities drew nigh.
With regal splendour shone the solemn sight,
And thus the wizard spake with omens bright:

“Take office high or low as days afford,
If one there be that could with thee accord;
Like ancient kings austere who sought their mate,
Finding the one who should fulfill their fate.
Now if thy heart doth cherish grace within,
What need is there to choose a go-between?
A convict toiled on rocks to expiate
His crime; his sovereign gave him great estate.
A butcher with his knife made roundelay;
His king chanced there and happy proved the day.
A prince who heard a cowherd chanting late
Raised him to be a councillor of state.
Before old age o’ertake thee on thy way,
Life still is young; to profit turn thy day.
Spring is but brief, when cuckoos start to sing,
And flowers will fade that once did spread and spring.”

On high my jasper pendent proudly gleamed,
Hid by the crowd with leaves that thickly teemed;
Untiring they relentless means employed;
I feared it would through envy be destroyed.
This gaudy age so fickle proved its will,
That to what purpose did I linger still?
E’en orchids changed, their fragrance quickly lost,
And midst the weeds angelicas were tossed.
How could these herbs, so fair in former day,
Their hue have changed, and turned to mugworts grey?
The reason for their fall, not far to seek,
Was that to tend their grace their will proved weak.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*