Wang Wei: Presented to Subprefect Zhang (From Chinese)

Presented to Subprefect Zhang
By Wáng Wéi
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click here to hear me read the original in a reconstruction of 8th century Chang'anese literary pronunciation
Click here to hear me read the original using modern Mandarin pronunciation

At dusk of life  I only care for stillness 
 Concerns of the world  leave my heart alone 
In myself I find  no long-term stratagems
 I only know  to return to the groves of home
There wind through pinetrees  blows my sash untied
 And the moon on the hills  shines on my harp in hand
You ask what lies  behind success and failure 
 The truth is the song  of the fisher goes deep on land 

The Original:
(Medieval Chinese transcribed using a slight modification of David Branner's system)

Han Characters  
 
酬張少府   
王維     
 
晚年惟好靜,   
萬事不關心。  
自顧無長策,   
空知返舊林。 
松風吹解帶,   
山月照彈琴。   
君問窮通理,   
漁歌入浦深。   
Medieval Chinese   
 
dzyou3b trang3 syàu3 puó3c 
ghwang3 ywi3c 
 
mán3a nan4 ywi3c hàu1 dzèing3b 
màn3a dzrì3d pet3a kwan2a sem3 
dzì3c kùo1 muo3c drang3 tshreik2b 
khung1b tri3b pán3a gòu3b lem3 
zung3c pung3b tshywi3b keí2a teì1b 
sran2b ngwat3a tsyàu3 dan1 gem3x 
kwen3a mèn3a gung3b thung1b lí3d 
nguo3b ke1 nyep3 phúo1 syem3 
Modern Chinese  
 
Chóu zhāng shàofǔ   
Wáng wéi   

Wăn nián wéi hào jìng,   
Wàn shì bù guān xīn   
Zì gù wú cháng cè,    
Kōng zhī fǎn jìu lín.   
Sōngfēng chūi jiě dài,    
Shānyùe zhào tánqín   
Jūn wèn qióngtōng lǐ,    
Yúgē rù pǔ shēn   

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