Song of Everlasting Sorrow – Bai Juyi

Song of Everlasting Sorrow  (長 恨 歌)

A Chinese Emperor longed for a beauty to match his kingdom
Looking ever looking, without finding, until
In the Yang family, a young girl, growing and maturing
Well-hidden and unknown, yet one
Naturally beautiful, one cannot hide such beauty, thus
One day she met the emperor and
Returned his look with a smile,
So beginning one hundred beautiful lives,

As the girls of six hundred houses lost their luster

There are many additional verses.

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow (Regret) (長 恨 歌) by Bai Juyi (772-846) retells the love story of the beautiful Yang Guifei (719-756) and Emperor Xuanzong, and the cause of the An Lushan Rebellion that began in December of 755.

Yang Guifei mounting a horse

Yang Guifei

Yang Guifei is said to have had “a face that put all flowers to shame”.

The story is told:

Locked in the palace, Yang Guifel lamented to the peony and the rose, “Flower, flower, full of bloom, when shall I see the light of day?”

Seeing her plight, the flowers and leaves, drooped in sorrow and shame as she passed.

Yang Guifei would meet a tragic end during the An Lushan Rebellion.

There are over 100 verses, and so I must come back from time to time to complete the translation.

Yes, there are many, many translations.

Original Chinese

長 恨 歌

漢皇重色思傾國
御宇多年求不得
天生麗質難自棄
一朝選在君王側
回眸一笑百媚生
六宮粉黛無顏色

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