Medieval China Gothic

Public Domain
In my search for thirst-waters, I came across an 18th century reference to the Yuan dynasty planting lemon trees and using them for thirst-waters.  I haven't been able to track down a specific historical provenance for that information, but I did find the poem they additionally cite about lemons (good-for-"meng" fruits).  It's sort of helpful, and I suspect it's an oblique reference to bees making honey.

Well, and also to drunkenness.  This is a Chinese poem, after all, and if they're not about at least one of the moon, autumn, or drunkenness, they're probably not worth much.

That said, I think most of the lines read independently like "Medieval China Gothic"

This poem appears in First Selection of Yuan Poems compiled in the Siku Quanshu, published 1784, but ascribed to Gu Sili, 1669-1722.  This poem also appears in the Ming dynasty collection The Stone Granary Collection of Poems from the Ages by Cao Xuequan, 1574-1646, and in the undated Collection of Wu Lai’s Deep Gifts, among other places.  I had to correct quite a few errors where the transcription didn't match the facsimile, and there is at least one character that just doesn't seem to exist in Unicode!

《卷四十二至卷四十三》
Scrolls 42-43
《嶺南宜濛子鮮渴水歌》
Lingnan Good-for-“Meng” Fresh Thirst-Water Poem
廣州園官進渴水
Guangzhou’s garden tender brings forth thirst-water
天風夏熟宜[氵+𫎇]子
heaven’s winds, summer heat, good-for-“meng” fruit
百花釀作甘露漿
a hundred flowers brewed into sweet dew-syrup
南國烹成赤龍髓
In the southern garden, boiled to red dragon marrow
[possibly resin from Dipterocarpaceae]
棕櫚亭高內撤餐
We remove to eat high in the palm pavilion
梧桐井壓滄江乾
The Parasol Tree [Firmiana simplex] well presses the cold-blue river dry
柏觀金莖擎未濕
The cypress tower’s golden stalk rises without dampness
藍橋玉臼擣空寒
The blue bridge jade mortar pounds the empty chill
小甖封出香覆錦
The small ewer seal, a fragrant brocade, pours out
古鼎貢餘聲撼寢
The sound from the surplus sacrifice in the old ding stirs the sleeping
酒容心情辟酒兵
Wine-guests’ state of mind summons wine-weapons
茶僧手段侵茶品
Tea-monks’ artistry ambushes tea-things
阿瞞口酸那得梅
Cao Cao’s mouth-sourness attains that of Prunus mume
(A reference to Cao Cao improving morale by telling his troops to think
of the stand of mume plums growing ahead)
茂陵肺消誰賜桮
The Han tomb; lungs flow; who presents a cup?
液奪胡酥有氣味
The melted-away butter has an odd smell
波凝海椹無塵埃
The pool freezes.  The mulberry sea has no dirt
向來暑殿評湯物
All along, the summer hall evaluates the hot-broth things
沉木紫蘇聞第一
The Aquilaria wood and purple Perilla frutescens are rumored to be best.
The melted-away butter has an odd smell

Creative Commons License

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yuan Dynasty Bochet Lemonade

Survey of Vinegar Recipes