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Chanting of Li Bai A Song of Changgan by Professor Florence Chia-ying Yeh (in Mandarin)

Foreword
Private school tune chanting goes back 3,000 years. It has been passed down through private schools and family tutors from generation to generation. Similar to singing, there is a scale, but the scale is not pre-set.

Li Bai A Song of Changgan
Translated by Witter Bynner.

My hair had hardly covered my forehead.
I was picking flowers, paying by my door,
When you, my lover, on a bamboo horse,
Came trotting in circles and throwing green plums.
We lived near together on a lane in Ch’ang-kan,
Both of us young and happy-hearted.
…At fourteen I became your wife,
So bashful that I dared not smile,
And I lowered my head toward a dark corner
And would not turn to your thousand calls;
But at fifteen I straightened my brows and laughed,
Learning that no dust could ever seal our love,
That even unto death I would await you by my post
And would never lose heart in the tower of silent watching.
…Then when I was sixteen, you left on a long journey
Through the Gorges of Ch’u-t’ang, of rock and whirling water.
And then came the Fifth-month, more than I could bear,
And I tried to hear the monkeys in your lofty far-off sky.
Your footprints by our door, where I had watched you go,
Were hidden, every one of them, under green moss,
Hidden under moss too deep to sweep away.
And the first autumn wind added fallen leaves.
And now, in the Eighth-month, yellowing butterflies
Hover, two by two, in our west-garden grasses
And, because of all this, my heart is breaking
And I fear for my bright cheeks, lest they fade.
…Oh, at last, when you return through the three Pa districts,
Send me a message home ahead!
And I will come and meet you and will never mind the distance,
All the way to Chang-feng Sha.

李白 長干行
妾髮初覆額,折花門前劇。郎騎竹馬來,遶床弄青梅。同居長干里,兩小無嫌猜。

十四為君婦,羞顏未嘗開。低頭向暗壁,千喚不一回。十五始展眉,願同塵與灰。
常存抱柱信,豈上望夫臺。十六君遠行,瞿塘灩澦堆。五月不可觸,猿聲天上哀。

門前遲行跡,一一生綠苔。苔深不能掃,落葉秋風早。八月蝴蝶黃,雙飛西園草。

感此傷妾心,坐愁紅顏老。早晚下三巴,預將書報家。相迎不道遠,直至長風沙。

李白(701-762)
字太白,號青蓮居士。與杜甫齊名,世稱為詩仙。其才華橫溢,浪漫不羈,曠世難求。

葉嘉瑩教授
南開大學中華古典文化研究所所長,加拿大皇家學會院士。

私塾調之吟誦
通過私塾或家教,代代相傳之吟誦,有三千多年歷史。雖無固定之音階,但像唱歌地誦讀。