千字文
 

南怀瑾老师说:

比如《千字文》,我讲过很多次,据说是梁武帝时代的周兴嗣写的,他犯了事,梁武帝气得要杀他,可是他人品道德学问都很好,又舍不得杀,于是把他关起来,罚他一夜之中,用一千个不同的中国字,把上古到梁代的中国文化写出来,就能免死。他真在一夜之中用一千个不同的中国字,把中国整个文化,天文、地理、政治、宗教、军事、哲学、经济等等,都清楚写出来了。第二天早晨,梁武帝看了非常感动佩服,但周兴嗣一夜之间须发皆白啊。

原文:

天地玄黄 (tiān dì xuán huáng)
宇宙洪荒 (yǔ zhòu hóng huāng) 
日月盈昃 (rì yuè yíng zè)
辰宿列张 (chén xiù liè zhāng) 
寒来暑往 (hán lái shǔ wǎng)
秋收冬藏 (qiū shōu dōng cáng)   
闰馀成岁 (rùn yú chéng suì)
律吕调阳 (lǜ lǚ tiáo yáng)
云腾致雨 (yún téng zhì yǔ)
露结为霜 (lù jié wéi shuāng)
金生丽水 (jīn shēng lí shuǐ)
玉出昆冈 (yù chū kūn gāng)  
剑号巨阙(jiàn hào jù què)
珠称夜光 (zhū chēng yè guāng)   
果珍李柰 (guǒ zhēn lǐ nài)
菜重芥姜 (cài zhòng jiè jiāng)  
海咸河淡 (hǎi xián hé dàn)
鳞潜羽翔 (lín qián yǔ xiáng)   
龙师火帝 (lóng shī huǒ dì)
鸟官人皇 (niǎo guān rén huáng) 
始制文字(shǐzhì wén zì )
乃服衣裳 (nǎi fú yī shāng)    
推位让国 (tuī wèi ràng guó)
有虞陶唐 (yǒu yú táo táng)    
吊民伐罪 (diào mín fá zuì)
周发殷汤 (zhōu fā yīn tāng)   
坐朝问道 (zuò cháo wèn dào)
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遐迩一体 (xiá ěr yī tǐ)
率宾归王 (shuài bīn guī wáng)   
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化被草木 (huà bèi cǎo mù)
赖及万方 (lài jí wàn fāng)    
盖此身发 (gài cǐ shēn fà)
四大五常(sì dà wǔ cháng)   
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岂敢毁伤 (qǐ gǎn huǐ shāng)
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焉哉乎也 (yān zāi hū yě)

英文版(仅供参考):

The darkling skies and yellow earth
Amid great chaos had their birth.
Then Sun and Moon their courses ran,
Then stars were set and round they span.
Then cold and heat arrived by turns
With reaping, keeping, man's concerns.
The extra days in leap years strewn,
It's yin and yang that call the tune.
When clouds are formed, the rain is made.
When dew drops freeze, the frost is laid.
The Goldsand streams in gold abound.
From Kunlun mountains jade is found.
The best of swords is Giant's Might.
The best of pearls is Bright-at-night
For fruit the plum and apple are great.
And mustard and ginger are loved on the plate.
The seas catch salt where rivers pour.
The scaled submerge, the feathered soar.
The dragon master, the fire fan,
The bird-name giver, the King of Man.
Then words appeared the things to note.
Then clothes were made the body to coat.
To men of worth the power passed down;
First Yao, then Shun; each handed the crown.
Ji Fa of Zhou and Yin's first king
Got rid of tyrants peace to bring.
They sat at court and cupped their hands
And talked on ways to honor their lands.
They loved and taught their men. Therefore
All tribes to them allegiance swore
Till far and near ,and one by one,
They all were under the Heaven's Son.
The phoenix sang on a bamboo slope,
The white colts grazed on the pasture of hope.
All plants were in the king's good graces
Reaching far to the farthest places.
The four root elements make our form;
The five prime virtues set our norm.
In reverence think we're bred with care,
What shame, great shame, this form to impair!
The fair admire the chaste and pure.
The gents must follow the wise and sure.
And when we slip we mend our way,
And what we learn we keep for aye.
Refrain from talking how they fail,
Nor feel so sure that you'll prevail.
Whatever you promise, never break it,
And be so tolerant that none will make it.
While silk being dyed old Mo deplored,
The fleecy lamb in Poetry's adored.
Learn from the worthy and the sublime
And guide your thinking with theirs to chime.
Good virtues bring with them good fame;
And noble forms will look the same.
Through empty valleys far goes sound;
‘Cross hollow halls the voices resound.
Disasters follow evil trade,
And kindness with good luck is paid.
A foot-size jade's no treasure in life,
A moment's worth an earnest strife.
And wait on your parents, and sovereign too,
With greatest care and deference due.
On filial duty best you try,
While for the nation ready to die.
You fan the mat, you warm the bed,
Like who'd on thin ice gingerly tread.
Be sweet as orchid's endless scent.
And firm as pine trees hardly bent
As constant as the rivers' flow.
As clear as limpid pools will show.
Behave with prudence or good thought,
And speak with words in calmness wrought
Beginning well is surely good;
But keeping fine through is what you shoul
To build yourself that is to be,
Do honor and it endless see.
Achieve in learning a chance to create
To work on a government post for the state
Like Duke of Zhao for whom the cheers
Grew louder with the passing years.
There's music for high and music for low;
The rites are built on ranks, you know.
Through high and low let harmony grin;
When husband sings let wife join in.
Obey your master wherever you roam,
But follow Mother's words at home.
Like parents aunts and uncles are near;
The nephews you hold as your own born dear.
And love your brothers for parents' sake,
From whom you sprang with all their make.
On common grounds you choose your friends,
On bettering morals, nobler ends.
With pity or mercy you proceed,
And never leave a brother in need.
Be upright and modest to moral perfection,
And none the less even in dejection.
A tranquil nature gives you ease,
But when obsessed you never have peace.
Remain unspoiled, with worth life fill;
Pursuit of lust will weaken will.
And have your honor your prime concern
Till honor comes to dwell in turn.
Two royal towns in flowering Cathay,
One east, one west; full grandeur display.
One mount-backed where the Luo waters sing,
One washed by the streams where the Wei takes the Jing.
The palace ways bewilder the sight,
And the eaves of the towers seem in breath-taking flight,
With colorful paintings of bards and beasts,
Immortals, spirits, gods, and priests!
The wing rooms open by the central hall
With the columns, curtains, pearl-strings and all.
When banquets are held, the music will be played,
And the zither and the sheng tunes rise or fade.
As men ascend the steps, how fine—
Like twinkling stars their hat-gems shine!
The Broad Interior leads to the right,
The house on the left's called Carrying Light.
The one keeps classics of all ages;
The other, scholars, heroes, sages
The masters' writings are graceful and adept,
In paint or like classics inside the walls kept.
The dignitaries posted the imperial abode,
And lined His Majesty's touring road.
Their fiefs each covered counties eight
With thousands of servants on them to wait.
In tall hats they followed in imperial tours through;
With the rolling of carriages the leather straps flew.
Great place age-old sees riches pile
And travels in most luxurious style.
Their arts of war and peace well-known
Are praised in inscriptions on bronze or stone.
The fisher at Pan stream, and Yi with his wit,
Each rose to his times and did his bit.
And think of Qufu, the town near Yan—
Who could make it thrive but Dan?
Duke Huan assembled heroes of the day
And propped the Zhou house lest it'd decay
Emperor Hui had the Hoary Four,
And Yue helped King Wu Ding of yore.
Thanks to efforts of righteous men,
The nation was back to peace again.
Then Jin and Chu by turns prevailed,
And Zhao and Wei were cunningly assailed.
One march by guile, two states were stormed;
One sworn alliance, a leader was formed.
While Xiao He followed the Three-point Rule,
Han Fei was caught in his statecraft tool.
General Bai Qi and a few more
Displayed miraculous art of war.
They were felt on the borders with awe and glory,
And history fills with their fame and story.
King Yu walked 'cross the nine-member land
And Qin took the prefectures all in its hand.
Of the Five Holy Mountains Tai is the pride,
For heaven and earth are worshiped by its side.
At Wild Geese Gate Pass purple is the Wall,
With western Chickfield and east Rosy-all.
From Kunming Pool to Mount Jaggirock,
And Giantwild town to Dongting Loch,
The ways stretch far through mountains steep
With rocky caves both dark and deep.
The nation has farming at its root
With sowing, reaping; see you do’t.
In the southern field my work I start
To tend to the crops with all my heart.
When ripe some part must go as tax
To get a prize, a rise, or the axe.
While Mencius valued simple ways,
Historian Shi kept truthful days.
Work hard for the golden mean as law,
With diligence, modesty, care, and awe.
What comes to the ear deserves a think;
One learns what's meant from a face or wink.
Be good at taking advice with cheer,
To devote yourself to a noble career.
Examine yourself when facing scorn,
Beware how honor by honor is torn.
In case your pureness challenge face,
Retire to a wooded or waterside place.
When Shu and his nephew both saw fit,
Who forced them but themselves to quit?
In solitude they nothing did,
In silence lived, in quiet hid,
Exploring what the ancients taught,
Whichever way their sweet will caught
When joys came in, all worries were out,
With sadness gone were smiles about.
How lotus in the pond bloomed new,
And garden plants just sprung to view!
The loquats loathed to drop their green,
But tong leaves yearned to quit the scene.
Old roots still twisting winding lay,
And foliage in falling ever would sway.
The giant rocs were free to rise
Toward the highest Crimson Skies.
Bazaars have books to catch the eye,
In bags or boxes leisurely they lie
About the spoken words have fears.
Be on your guard, for walls have ears.
Prepare your meals in proper taste
To keep off hunger, also waste.
Satiety makes flashy meat;
In dearth even chaffs would seem a treat.
With food for friends and near relation,
Give elders and toddlers due consideration.
The concubine should tend the loom
And serve with coat and hat her groom.
The silken fans are round and clean.
The candles shine with silvery sheen.
For naps there's the mat of blue bamboo,
For the night the ivory bed will do.
At feasts with songs and music up
And cheers on cheers and cup on cup,
The heads are tossed; while treading a measure,
Each has a part in the merry-making pleasure.
The queen's first son to the throne succeeds;
In seasonal rites‘tis he who leads,
Kowtowing hard again and again,
Full of fear and awe as in pain.
When writing a letter be concise,
When answering a question be precise.
When dirty you'd like a wash; when too hot
Is something you hold, you'd like it not.
A donkey, mule or oxen indeed,
When frightened, may shy, grow wild, stampede.
All robbers and thieves must die for their crime,
And traitors and fugitives caught, any time.
Both Lu and Yi enjoyed a shoot,
And Ji his zither and Ruan's proud hoot.
Cai made paper, Meng's brush to match,
And Ma's magic compass, and Ren's nice catch.
To solve disputes and benefit the many,
Is both as fine and laudable as any.
With Mao and Shi the fairest of the fair,
Frowning or smiling, they kept their charm there.
The year like an arrow is urging every hour
While the eye of heaven shines bright in its power.
The armillary sphere's on its round and round rides,
And monthly the moon shows up or hides.
Light virtue, let it shine on hence,
For endless bliss its recompense.
And watch your step; behave, in short,
As who attends the imperial court.
Be dressed with dignity and grace
Wherever you may ascend or pace.
The ill-informed deserve a sneer
No less than benighted ones a jeer.
About auxiliary words make clear:
They are yan, zai, hu, and yeh.