Lament for Emperor Yi (Group Translation)
(Notes to be added.)
丁丑十月日, 余自密城道京山, 宿踏溪驛, 夢有神披七章之服, 頎然而來, 自言: "楚懷王 孫心爲西楚霸王所弑, 沈之郴江。"因忽不見。余覺之, 愕然曰: "懷王 南楚之人也, 余則東夷之人也。地之相距, 不啻萬有餘里, 而世之先後, 亦千有餘載。來感于夢寐, 玆何祥也? 且考之史, 無沈江之語, 豈羽使人密擊, 而投其屍于水歟? 是未可知也。" 遂爲文以弔之。惟天賦物則以予人兮, 孰不知尊四大與五常? 匪華豐而夷嗇, 曷古有而今亡? 故吾夷人, 又後千載兮, 恭弔楚之懷王。昔祖龍之弄牙角兮, 四海之波, 殷爲衁。雖鱣鮪鰍鯢, 曷自保兮, 思網漏而營營。時六國之遺祚兮, 沈淪播越, 僅媲夫編氓。梁也南國之將種兮, 踵魚狐而起事。求得王而從民望兮, 存熊繹於不祀。握乾符而面陽兮, 天下固無大於芈氏。遣長者而入關兮, 亦有足覩其仁義。羊狠狼貪, 擅夷冠軍兮, 胡不收而膏齊斧? 嗚呼! 勢有大不然者兮, 吾於王而益懼。爲醢腊於反噬兮, 果天運之蹠盭。郴之山磝以觸天兮, 景晻愛以向晏。郴之水流以日夜兮, 波淫泆而不返。天長地久, 恨其可旣兮, 魂至今猶飄蕩。余之心貫于金石兮, 王忽臨乎夢想。循紫陽之老筆兮, 思螴蜳以欽欽。擧雲罍以酹地兮, 冀英靈之來歆。
One day of the tenth month, Jeongchuk cyclic year, I travelled from Milseong (modern Milyang area) to Kyeongsan and I was sleeping over at Dapgye station. In my dream, a spirit appeared wearing seven layers of dress<1>, standing tall he came to me and said: “I am Xin, the grandson of King Huai of Chu<2>. I was killed by King Ba (Xiang Yu) of Western Chu, and was plunged into the Chen river.” Then suddenly he was not seen. I woke up, and said in surprise: “King Huai is a man of Southern Chu, and I am a man of the Eastern Yi<3>. Not only is the distance between these locations more than 10,000 li, the gap between our generations is also more than a thousand years. How auspicious is it that he came to my dream to rouse me? Moreover I examined the historical records and there were no words of him being thrown into the river. Could Yu have secretly ordered others to kill him and throw his body into the water? Of this I am still uncertain” Thereupon I wrote a piece to grieve for him. Heaven bestowed the laws of things and gave it to the mankind. Who does not know how to revere the Four Greatness of Heaven, Earth, Way and King, and Five Constances? Is it not so that China is generous and the Yi are stingy. How could it exist only in the past, and not in the present? Thus I, a man of Yi, again a thousand years later, I pay my respect to King Huai of Chu.
Long ago, the ancestral dragon (the first emperor of Qin) played with his molars and horns, the waves of the four seas became crimson like blood. How could the blue-fin tuna and mudfish<4> protect themselves when they are hopeful of escaping the net? Remaining royals of the six states<5> during that time ran away and hid, barely comparable to the common refugees. Xiang Liang, a descendent of a general of southern state (Chu), tracked down the fish and fox<6> and then rose in power. He found the throne and thus following the people’s hopes, restoring the ritual commemoration of Xiang Yi. Holding the heavenly insignia and facing the sun, there was nothing greater than last name Mi. Sending the best one to enter Guanzhong, that was enough to see the benevolence and righteousness. Unstoppable like rams and greedy like wolves, [Xiang Yi] massacred the troop of ministers. Why did he not collect and oil the Jebu axe? Alas! The circumstances were something extremely unfavorable. I, for the king, I was all the more afraid. He was betrayed then killed to have his organs salted and his flesh dried, so indeed the distortion of fate. Mountain of Chim standing high to reach the sky, the scenery is dark with which heading towards the evening. The waters of Chim flows day and night, its sloshing waves flow, never to come back. Even if the heaven and earth is eternal, can the lament be exhausted? The spirit is still roaming aimlessly. The heart of mine pierces through metal and rock, and king suddenly appeared in my dream. Following Jayang’s old brush, my thoughts are in anxiety and not at ease. Holding the ritual goblet and pouring the wine on the ground, hopefully may the honorable spirit come and enjoy it.