Immortal Yuzhen, 玉真仙

玉真仙人詞
太白

玉真之仙人,
時往太華峰
清晨鳴天鼓,
飙欻騰雙龍

弄電不輟手,
行雲本無蹤
幾時入少室,
王母應相逢

Words Written to Immortal Yuzhen,
Li Bai (701–762)

There once was a spirit named Yuzhen,
Who went oft to the peak of Taihua.                                        
At dawn she would strike a heavenly drum,                                                     
Soaring and prancing on twin dragons.

Struck by lightening, she still didn’t stop,
Traveling through clouds, she left not a trace.                          
When she come to Mt. Shaoshi,
Who shall she meet but Wangmu (Queen Mother).

The Peak of Taihua

The Story of Yuzhen

The Princess Yuzhen was daughter to the Emperor Ruizhong, and sister to the later Emperor Xuanzhong.

In 710, Emperor Ruizong ordered Daoist convents built for the twenty-something Princess Yuzhen and her older sister, Princess ]inxian, likely at Mt. Taihua, China’s holiest peak, near the capital of Chang’an. A likely date for Li Bai’s flattering poem is 725, when the Emperor Xuanzong conducted a Feng Shan ceremony (封禪) at Taihua, offering sacrifices to heaven and earth.

The twenty-something Li Bai (李白) well knew that flattery is becoming, obsequious flattery, especially so.

In Li Bai’s embellishment, Yuzhan becomes Xian (仙人) immortal. She strikes a drum at the peak of Taihua (太華峰), summoning a pair of dragons (). Then, she soars in the sky though lightening and thunder, heading to distant Mt. Shoashi (少室), home to the Queen Mother (王母) of the West, the goddess who cares for all female Taoists (Daoists).

Coincidentally, it can be noted that Princess Yuzhen, died in the first year of the new Tang Emperor Suzong (762), the same year as the poet Li Bai.

Pinyin

yùzhēn xiān rén cí

yùzhēn zhī xiān rén
shí wǎng tàihuá fēng。
qīng chén míng tiān
biāo chuā téng shuāng lóng

nòng diàn bù chuò shǒu,
xíng yún běn wú zōng
jǐ shí rù shàoshì
wángmǔ yīng xiāng féng。

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