The Red Cliff Fu Artist: Fang Hao (Chinese)


Hanging scroll, gold ink on indigo blue paper


50 3/4 × 16 1/8 in. (128.9 × 41 cm)

Credit Line

Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, Gift of Mrs. William H. Moore

Accession Number



Qing dynasty (1644–1911)


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Mrs. William H. Moore (1858–1955), New York, to 1954; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

calligraphy, hanging scrolls


一、第一排\r\n壬戌之秋,七月既望,\r\n蘇子與客泛舟遊於赤壁之下。\r\n清風徐來,水波不興。\r\n舉酒屬客,\r\n誦明月之詩,歌窈窕之章。\r\n少焉,月出於東山之上,徘徊於鬥牛之間。\r\n白露橫江,水光接天。\r\n縱一葦之所如,凌萬頃之茫然。浩浩乎如馮虛御風,而不知其所止;飄飄乎如遺世獨立,羽化而登仙。\r\n於是飲酒樂甚,\r\n\r\n二、第二排\r\n扣舷而歌之。歌曰:\r\n“桂棹兮蘭槳,擊空明兮溯流光。渺渺兮於懷,望美人兮天一方。”\r\n客有吹洞蕭者,倚歌而和之,其聲嗚嗚然:\r\n如怨如慕,如泣如訴;\r\n餘音嫋嫋,不絕如縷;\r\n舞幽壑之潛蛟,泣孤舟之嫠婦。\r\n蘇子愀然,正襟危坐,而問客曰:“何為其然也?”客曰:\r\n“月明星稀,烏鵲南飛,\r\n此非曹孟德之詩乎?\r\n西望夏口,東望武昌。山川相繆,鬱乎蒼蒼;此非孟德之困於周郎者乎?\r\n\r\n三、第三排\r\n方其破荊州,下江陵,順流而東也,舳艫千里,旌旗蔽空,釃酒臨江,橫槊賦詩;固一世之雄也,而今安在哉?\r\n況吾與子,漁樵於江渚之上,侶魚蝦而友糜鹿,\r\n駕一葉之扁舟,\r\n舉匏樽以相屬;\r\n寄蜉蝣與天地,渺滄海之一粟。\r\n哀吾生之須臾,羨長江之無窮;挾飛仙以遨遊,抱明月而長終;知不可乎驟得,托遺響於悲風。”\r\n蘇子曰:\r\n“客亦知夫水與月乎?\r\n逝者如斯,而未嘗往也;盈虛者如彼,而卒莫消長也。\r\n\r\n四、第四排\r\n蓋將自其變者而觀之,而天地曾不能一瞬;自其不變者而觀之,則物於我皆無盡也。\r\n而又何羨乎?\r\n且夫天地之間,物各有主。苟非吾之所有,雖一毫而莫取。\r\n惟江上之清風,與山間之明月,耳得之而為聲,目遇之而成色。\r\n取之無禁,用之不竭。是造物者之無盡藏也,\r\n而吾與子之所共適。”\r\n客喜而笑,洗盞更酌,肴核既盡,杯盤狼藉。\r\n相與枕藉乎舟中,不知東方之既白。\r\n\r\n敩讓生仰之方鎬篆於寄鷗室。Xue Rang Sheng Yang Zhi Fang Gao Zhuan Yu Ji Ou Shi\r\n\r\n\r\nArtist Seals (作者印記):\r\n敩讓生、仰之\r\n\r\nMy First Visit to the Red Cliff\r\nSu Shi (trans. Yingcai Xu)\r\n\r\nIt was the 17th day of the 7th month in the autumn of the year Ren Xu when I sailed down to the foot of the Red Cliff with some friends. A cool breeze was wafting, too soft to ripple the water. Raising my cup, I toasted my friends and chanted the stanza on the gentle and graceful orb from the verse about the bright moon. Soon, the moon rose from behind the east mountain and began to roam between the Southern Dipper and the Altair. White mist heaped up across the river, and the moonlight stretched far into the horizon to merge into the sky. Like a piece of reed, our sloop drifted on a boundless expanse of water, so vast that we felt as if we were riding wind in the firmament, wondering where to moor, and so ethereal that we felt as if we were ascending into heaven and becoming immortal.\r\nThis enchanted the gaiety of drinking. We sang while tapping on the side of the boat:\r\nOh, the magnolia oars, paddling in the clear water,\r\nOh, the cassia boat, sailing up the moonlit river;\r\nBut where I’ve reached is so remote,\r\nFrom the beloved in my rapt heart.\r\nSomeone among the friends started to play the Xiao Flute, accompanying the verse. The music kept streaming out and lingering in the air, so melancholic that it sounded like a continuous sigh of sorrow or like a ceaseless weep with grief, which could entice a scaly dragon perching in a deep pool to rise and dance, or make a widow sitting on a lonely boat cry.\r\nSitting up, I, in a serious tone, asked the player, “Why is the music so somberly stirring?” “‘The moon is luminous, the stars are sparse, the birds are flying south,’” he replied. “Isn’t this the visualization of a scene as described in Cao Mengde’s poem? The place we have now reached faces Xiakou to the West and Wuchang to the East, and is heavily encircled by verdant mountains and stretching water. Isn’t this a déjà vu of Mengde being trapped by General Zhou? Although it goes without saying that Cao Mengde could well be considered a hero for his generation, when he broke through Jingzhou, swept over Jiangling, and then rolled eastward down the Yangtze River in warships chained up for over a thousand miles, with banners and flags flaunting in defiance of the vast open skies, while drinking with relish before the river and composing poems with his lance resting on his lap, where is he now? If he is nowhere to be found, then what about us? You and I are fishing in the river, gathering firewood in the islet, with fish and shrimp as our companions, and milu and deer as our friends, and riding a sloop while drinking from our gourd cups. We are like mayflies wandering in this terrestrial world or pieces of millet drifting on a deep blue ocean. What a short life span we have, yet how endless the Yangtze River is! I wish we could roam in the firmament with flying immortals or live forever with the bright moon. I know this is not something easily obtainable and therefore I can only leave the wistful music to the dreary wind.”\r\nI commented, “Do you happen to know the nature of water or the moon? Water is always on the run like this, but never lost in its course; the moon always waxes and wanes like that, but never out of its sphere. When viewed from a changing perspective, nothing in this universe can remain unchanged even within a blink of an eye, but when looked at from an unchanging perspective, everything conserves itself, and so do we. Therefore, what’s in them to be admired? Besides, in this universe, everything has its rightful owner. If something does not belong to you, then you shall not even have a bit of it. However, the fresh breeze over this river and the bright moon above the mountains are an exception. If you can hear it, it is a sound to you; if you can see it, it is a view to you. It never ends and is never exhausted. It is the infinite treasure that nature has for both of us to enjoy. \r\nHearing this, he cheered up and laughed. We had our cups rinsed and refilled. Soon all the dishes and fruits were gone. With plates and cups left strewn all over, we leaned against each other and fell asleep right in the boat, unaware that the east was already turning white.

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