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Yueyang Tower

Yueyang Tower As a Chinese culture lover, Yueyang Tower is quite famous for an essayist’s essay more than 1000 years ago and the high-ranking goal pursuit of this scholar. This essayist was a degraded official from capital just for the failure of his nationwide political reform. His hearted-broken words and his incomparable and farsighted goal as well as his appeal on how to be a welcome official all gave us the impressive memory. This essay lets us remember this historic man and this tower. His name was Fan Zhongyan, a famous reformist, poet, essayist and the cultural spreader. Thanks to his former reform, Wang Anshi Reform made a great success in some way in Song Dynasty.

Yueyang Tower (岳阳楼) is an ancient Chinese tower in Yueyang, Hunan Province, on the shore of Lake Dongting. Alongside the Pavilion of Prince Teng and Yellow Crane Tower, it is one of the Three Great Towers of Jiangnan. The history of Yueyang Tower dates from the Three Kingdoms Period, when Lu Su, commander in chief of the forces of Wu, was sent to the area to fortify it and train the fleet there. To ease the inspection and command of ships he constructed a tower near the strategic location where Lake Dongting joins the Yangtze River, from which the whole of Lake Dongting was visible. This inspection tower, then called the Ba Ling Tower after the nearby city of Ba Ling, was the first incarnation of Yueyang Tower.Like the other two great towers of Jiangnan, Yueyang Tower is famous partly due to its literary associations, namely the piece Yueyang Lou Ji (岳阳楼记), loosely translated as Memorial to Yueyang Tower, written by renowned Song poet Fan Zhongyan at the invitation of his friend Teng Zijing (滕子京), who in 1044 became local governor and rebuilt the tower, and subsequent play Yueyang Tower by one of the most renown Chinese dramatists Ma Zhiyuan in the Yuan Dynasty era.

The Classical Chinese Essay of Yueyang Lou Ji

庆历四年春,滕子京谪守巴陵郡。越明年,政通人和,百废具兴,乃重修岳阳楼, 增其旧制,刻唐贤今人诗赋于其上,属予作文以记之。
予观夫巴陵胜状,在洞庭一湖。衔远山,吞长江,浩浩汤汤,横无际涯;朝晖夕 阴,气象万千;此则岳阳楼之大观也,前人之述备矣。然则北通巫峡,南极潇湘,迁 客骚人,多会于此,览物之情,得无异乎?
若夫霪雨霏霏,连月不开;阴风怒号,浊浪排空;日星隐耀,山岳潜形;商旅不 行,樯倾楫摧;薄暮冥冥,虎啸猿啼;登斯楼也,则有去国怀乡,忧谗畏讥,满目萧 然,感极而悲者矣。
至若春和景明,波澜不惊,上下天光,一碧万顷;沙鸥翔集,锦鳞游泳,岸芷汀 兰,郁郁青青。而或长烟一空,皓月千里,浮光跃金,静影沈璧,渔歌互答,此乐何 极!登斯楼也,则有心旷神怡,宠辱皆忘,把酒临风,其喜洋洋者矣。
嗟夫!予尝求古仁人之心,或异二者之为,何哉?不以物喜,不以己悲,居庙堂 之高,则忧其民;处江湖之远,则忧其君。是进亦忧,退亦忧;然则何时而乐耶?其 必曰:先天下之忧而忧,后天下之乐而乐欤!噫!微斯人,吾谁与归!
Yueyang Lou Ji

The Englsih Version of Yueyang Lou Ji

In the spring of fourth year of Qingli, TengZijing was exiled to Balingjun , to be the profect there. In the second year of his office, because of his excellent administration, people lived in peace and contentment, and all previous neglected matters were taken care of. The YueYang tower was renovated and enlarged and described on its walls was the poetries and rhymed prose of Tang and present dynasty. I was invented to record this restoration effect in writing.

The beauty of Baling center round the Dongting Lake, which holds the mountain ranges in the distance and swallows the water of the yangtz river.It so vast and mighty that it seems boundness. Dazzling in the morning sun and fading in the grew evening mist, it offers a myriad scenes; this is the magnificent view of yueyang tower commanded. Of which many describtions hava been written. The beauty scenic spot is linked with the Wu gorge in the north and Xiao and Xiang Rivers in the south. Exiled officials and poets often gather here, how could there be no difference in their feelings?

In the rainy season, an unbroken wet weather lasts for months. Chilly wind howl and turbid waves surge the sky high. The sun and stars lose their luster, and the mountain ranges scarcely visible.. The merchant and travelers have to put off their voyage. For the masts of ships have collapsed and the oars broken.. It is dark towards evening mist, and the roaring of tigers and the cry of monkeys can be heard. At such a time anyone ascending the tow will be filled with nostalgia for the imperial court and his hometown as well as fears of calumny and derision against him. Around him is a scene of desolation. Emotions well up him so strongly that he feels pain at heart.

In springtime it is warm and the sun is bright, the lake is tranquil and it merges with the azure sky into a vast expanse of blue. The water-bird is playing, some fluttering in the sky, and some gathering together on the sandbars. Fishes of varies hues swimming merrily in the water. Sweet-smell grass by the banks and the faint scented orchid on the sandy beaches are rush and green. Sometimes when the mist over the lake vanishes. The glorious moon shines over the vast land. Its brightness glistening with golden light on the lake. The reflection of the moon is like a piece of jade in the depth of the water. On ascending the tower at such a time, one will feel a spiritual uplift, neither glory nor shame. With a cup of wine in the gentle breeze, he will enjoy the greatest happiness in life.

Ah! I have tried to study the minds of lofty ideals in ancient times. Perhaps they were different from the people I motion above. Why is this? The reason is that they were not thrown into ecstasies over their success, nor felt depressed over their failures. When they were in high position at court, they concerned about the people, when they were in remote place, they concerned about their emperor. They worried when then got promoted or when they were sent into exile. Then, when they were happy? they would say:” To be the first to worry about the affairs of the state and the last to enjoy oneself!”
Oh, who else should I seek company with save them.
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