Yuan Zhen

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Yuan Chen

Yuan Zhen (Chinese: 元稹; 779September 2, 831), courtesy name Weizhi (微之), was a politician of the middle Tang Dynasty, but is better known as an important Chinese writer and poet.


  • 寥落古行宫,宫花寂寞红。
    • Deserted now the Imperial bowers
      Save by some few poor lonely flowers...
      One white-haired dame,
      An emperor's flame,
      Sits down and tells of bygone hours.
      • "At an Old Palace" (《行宫》), in Gems of Chinese Literature, trans. Herbert A. Giles
    • Variant translations:
      • Deserted now imperial bowers.
        For whom still redden palace flowers?
        Some white-haired chambermaids at leisure
        Talk of the late emperor's pleasure.
        • "At an Old Palace", in Song of the Immortals: An Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry, trans. Yuanchong Xu (Beijing: New World Press, 1994), p. 128
      • The ancient Palace lies in desolation spread.
        The very garden flowers in solitude grow red.
        Only some withered dames with whitened hair remain,
        Who sit there idly talking of mystic monarchs dead.
        • "The Ancient Palace", as translated by W. J. B. Fletcher in Lotus and Chrysanthemum: An Anthology of Chinese and Japanese Poetry (New York: Boni & Liveright, 1934), p. 107
  • Encyclopedic article on Yuan Zhen on Wikipedia