Three Repetitions at Yang Pass

One of my favorite melodies, Three Repetitions at Yang Pass 陽關三疊 captures the essence of the poem by Wang Wei 王維. His work, titled Seeing Yuan Er Off to Anxi 送元二使安西, depicts two friends about to part ways: one staying within what was then civilized China, and the other leaving on an administrative post to the far-flung western reaches of the empire.

Lyrics to Three Repetitions at Yang Pass 陽關三疊 with my translation:

清和節當春。
渭城朝雨浥清塵。
客舍青青柳色新。
勸君更盡一杯酒。
西出陽關無故人。
露夜與霜晨。
遄行,遄行,長途越渡關津,
惆悵役此身。
歷苦辛,歷苦辛,歷歷苦辛,
宜自珍,宜自珍。
Springtime, that clear and serene day—
Morning rain dampens the light dust at Weicheng.
The tavern is awash in the green of fresh willow buds.
I urge another cup of wine, for
West of Yang Pass, there will be no more old acquaintances.
Now, evening dew and morning frost.
Hurry along, hurry along, the journey is long, and the ferry awaits.
Melancholy weighs the body.
Endure, endure, endure hardship, and
Take good care, take good care.
渭城朝雨浥清塵。
客舍青青柳色新。
勸君更盡一杯酒。
西出陽關無故人。
依依顧戀不忍離。
淚滴沾巾。
無復相輔仁。
感懷,感懷,思君十二時辰。
參商各一垠。
誰相因,誰相因,誰可相因,
日馳神,日馳神。
Morning rain dampens the light dust at Weicheng.
The tavern is awash in the green of fresh willow buds.
I urge another cup of wine, for
West of Yang Pass, there will be no more old acquaintances.
How can parting be surmised?
Teardrops soak the towel.
Such a friend I may never again meet.
Cherishing, cherishing, for all twelve watches of the day.
Separation in one stroke.
Who, who, who can fathom?
Daily, my heart is raptured, is raptured.
渭城朝雨浥清塵。
客舍青青柳色新。
勸君更盡一杯酒。
西出陽關無故人。
芳草遍如茵。
旨酒,旨酒,未飲心已先醇。
載馳駰,載馳駰。
何日言旋軒轔。
能酌幾多巡。
千巡有盡,寸衷難泯,無窮的傷感。
楚天湘水遠隔離。
期早托鴻鱗。
尺素申,尺素申,尺素頻申,
如相親,如相親。
Morning rain dampens the light dust at Weicheng.
The tavern is awash in the green of fresh willow buds.
I urge another cup of wine, for
West of Yang Pass, there will be no more old acquaintances.
By now, the grass has grown, a thick mat.
Remember, remember the wine; the heart stirs, even without a sip.
Galloping, galloping quickly by.
When can we speak of the rumble of chariots?
How many more rounds?
A thousand rounds will cease, but one inch of sentiment can’t be extinguished.
The sky and waters of Chu and Xiang are separated, far away.
Quickly, ask the birds and the fish,
Bring, bring, bring the message,
So as to meet again, to meet again.
噫!從今一別。
兩地相思入夢頻。
聞雁來賓。
Lo! From today on, we separate.
Two lands apart, but close in dreams.
Have the migrating wild geese bring tidings.

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