Song of Jade Flagon
Author: Bai Li(AD701-AD762, Tang Dynasty)
Translator: Lei Fan 2016 in Chicago
I slap the jade flagon, chanting loudly,
Full of aspirations, unfortunately I am at my declining age.
Waving my long sword, dancing under the moon, after three cups of wine,
Suddenly, I raise my tone, can not stop but shed my tears.
I could still recollect when I first arrived at forbidden city, with edict in my hands,
In a royal feast, people with power and prestige all raised their cups.
I praised almighty emperor’s deeds and merits,
I looked down upon and sneered at those who claimed to be noblemen.
I rode those bestowed horses to go to the imperial court,
What in my hand was the white jaded coral whip.
Now like no one can understand deranged Shuo Dongfang,
I also started my reclusive, unfettered life behind this palace wall.
There once was a stunning belle called Shi Xi, whose every smile was elegant,
Those who tried to imitate, eventually became pillories.
I know emperor is fond of imperial concubines with crescent eyebrows,
Alas! It is the covetousness and jealousness which murder those true beauties!