A Lengthened Couplet of Kunming Daguanlou Mansion

Daguanlou (Grand View) Park, situated in the southwest of Kunming city, connects Lake Dian and overlooks Taihua Peak. It is the largest park in downtown Kunming with an area of more than 700 mus.

Along with the picturesque view in the park, there is another highlight, which deems to be the most famous couplet which carved into the gateposts: the Lengthened Couplet of Kunming Daguanlou Mansion. Sun Ranweng composed this couplet during the Qing Dynasty while he was overlooking the views from the upper floors of the pavilion. The couplet consists of three parts, with a total of 180 characters, which vividly describes the scenery of the area and the author’s own reflections about the time he was living in. Here we have found an English version of the couplet.

A Lengthened Couplet of Kunming Daguanlou Mansion (Grand View Mansion)

Originally by Sun Ranweng in Kunming, China

Translated by Jin huikang & James Back

"The 500 li Dianchi (Lake Dian) is rushing into sight and so exhilarated am I to unbutton my coat and headdress, enjoy the vast-stretching waters! Look around: Mount Jinma like a galloping horse in the east, Mount Biji resembling a flying phoenix in the west, Mount Hongshan rolling up and down like a dragon in the north and Mount Crane shrouded in the transient white clouds in the south. Ascending the height you can enjoy a distant view of the isles made up of crab and snail shells and the sweeping willow branches in the misty breezes, endless marshes covered with weeds and reeds and with a few green-feathered birds perching, all underneath the sky’s rosy clouds. I would have felt very much regretted if I hadn’t seen the fragrant rice paddies and long sandy beaches all around, lotus flowers in full blossom in summer, and handing willow branches greened with new sprouts in spring.

The thousand-year-long history is repeating itself in my mind and a little bit drunk am I looking up to sigh for those historical heroes, where are they? Think about: terraced warships teemed with Han soldiers, iron monuments built in memory of the Tang’s victory, territories settled by the first Song emperor with a jade ax and the whole land conquered by the Yuan tribesmen coming on an expedition on sheepskin rafts. Gloriously martyred deeds with great efforts in vain and all grand palaces are gone forever with morning clouds and evening rains, leaving only broken stone tablets with a few lines of engraved scripts, all enveloped in the hazy sunset. There left behind are bronze bells heard occasionally and fishing boats with flickering lamps seen in the middle of the lake, wild geese leaving in a hurry in two files in autumn, and only frosted snow all over the terrains in winter."

                                                          

Tips

Address: No. 272, Daguan Road, Xishan District, Kunming

Transportation: Bus No. 22, 100, 104 and 183 to Daguan Road

Opening Time: 8:30 to 18:00

Ticket: 20 yuan per person

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