Du Fu: At Dharma Mirror Temple (From Chinese)

In autumn of 759, Du Fu resigned from his government post at Huazhou (east of Chang'an) during the An Lushan rebellion, fearing for his life, and headed west to Qinzhou (now Tianshui) in what is now Gansu province to stay with a nephew, taking his family with him. Afterward, he moved farther south to Tonggu and arrived in Chengdu (in what is now Sichuan province) at the end of the month. This poem was written during that journey.

Dharma Mirror Temple
By Du Fu
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

In fear for my life  I head to a farther district
 But for all I do  I end up gutted weak
Going deep into the mountains gashed in spirit
 An ancient cliffside temple  dashes my grief

Charming in light,  the pure soft emerald lichens
 Bare in the wind,  the clustered bamboo-sheathes
All round the mountain the waters weave and wind 
 Lithe from the pines  the raindrops hang at ease

The oozing clouds  obscure the fresh clear morning
 The dawning sun  is hidden and then streams free
Vermillion rooftiles  glow in the partial light 
 Each door and window  stands distinct agleam

Hunched on my staff I forgot what lay before me
 The sun at high noon  I come round from my dream
Dark in the distance  the cuckoo crows Go Go 
 The narrow path to the temple I dare not seek 


The Original:
(Medieval Chinese transcription thanks to a system developed by David Branner)

Han Characters 

法鏡寺 
杜甫 

身危適他州, 
勉強終勞苦。 
神傷山行深, 
愁破崖寺古。 

嬋娟碧鮮淨, 
蕭索寒籜聚。 
回回山根水, 
冉冉松上雨。 

泄雲蒙清晨, 
初日翳複吐。 
朱甍半光炯, 
戶牖粲可數。 

拄策忘前期, 
出夢已亭午。 
冥冥子規叫, 
微徑不敢取。 
Medieval Chinese 

pap3a kèing3a zì3d
dúo1 púo3c

syen3b ngwi3bx syeik3b the1 tsyou3b
mán3bx gáng3 tsyung3b lau1 khúo1
zyen3b syang3 sran2b gheing2a syem3
dzrou3b phè1 ngei2a zì3d kúo1

dzyan3b wan3by peik3b san3b dzèing3b
sau4 sreik2a ghan1 thak1 dzúo3c
ghwei1a ghwei1a sran2b ken1 sywí3c
nyám3b nyám3b zung3c dzyàng3 ghúo3c

sat3b ghwen3a mung1b tsheing3b dzyen3b
tshruo3b nyet3b èi4 bòu3b thúo1
tsyuo3c meing2b pàn1 kwang1 kwéing4
ghúo1 yóu3b tshàn1 khé1 srúo3c

truó3c tshreik2b máng3 dzan4 gi3d
tshywet3b mung3b yí3d deing4 nguó1
meing4 meing4 tsí3d kwi3by kàu4
mi3a kèing4 pet3a kám1b tshúo3c
Modern Mandarin 

Fǎ jìng sì 
Dù Fǔ 

Shēn wēi shì tā zhōu, 
Miǎn qiǎng zhōng láokǔ. 
Shén shāng shān xíng shēn, 
Chóu pò yá sì gǔ. 

Chán juān bì xiǎn jìng, 
Xiāo suǒ hán tuò jù. 
Huí huí shān gēn shuǐ, 
Rǎn rǎn sōng shàng yǔ. 

Xiè yún méng qīng chén, 
Chū rì yì fù tǔ. 
Zhū méng bàn guāng jiǒng, 
Hù yǒu càn kě shǔ. 

Zhǔ cè wàng qián qī, 
Chū mèng yǐ tíng wǔ. 
Míng míng zǐ guī jiào, 
Wēi jìng bù gǎn qǔ. 

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