Stele for Cao E (曹娥碑)

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(碑文) 孝女曹娥者,上虞曹盱之女也。其先與周同祖,末胄荒流,爰來(茲)適居。盱能撫節安(按)歌,婆娑樂神。漢安二年五月五日迎伍君,逆濤而上,為水所淹,不得其屍。時娥年十四(歲),號慕思盱,哀吟澤畔,旬有七日,遂自投江死,經五日抱父屍出。以漢安迄于(於)元嘉元年青龍辛卯,莫之有表。度尚設祭誄之。

辭曰:伊惟孝女,曄曄(奕奕)之姿。偏其反而,令色孔儀。窈窕淑女,巧笑倩兮。宜其室家,在洽之陽。大禮未施,嗟喪(傷)慈父。彼蒼伊何?無父孰怙!訴神告哀,赴江永號,視死如歸。是以眇然輕絕,投入沙泥。翩翩孝女,載沉載浮。或泊洲渚,或在中流。或趨湍瀨,或逐波濤。千夫失聲,悼痛萬餘。觀者填道,雲集路衢。泣淚掩涕,驚動國都。是以哀姜哭市,杞崩城隅。或有尅面引鏡,剺耳用刀。坐檯待水,抱樹而燒。於戲孝女,德茂此儔。何者大國,防禮自修。豈況庶賤,露屋草茅。不扶自直,不斫自雕。越梁過宋,比之有殊。哀此貞厲,千載不渝。嗚呼哀哉!

銘曰:名勒金石,質之乾坤。歲數歷祀,立墓(廟)起墳。光于(於)後土,顯照天人。生賤死貴,義之利門。何悵華落,飄零早分。葩艷窈窕,永世配神。若堯二女,為湘夫人。時效仿佛,以昭後昆。

 

Cao E (曹娥)

A young girl called Cao E (曹娥)(130–143CE) was a native of Shangyu (上虞)(today 浙江紹興 Shaoxing of Zhejiang). She was the daughter of Cao Xu (曹盱) . Cao Xu was a shaman who was talented in singing and dancing. In 143 CE, while Cao Xu was presiding over a ceremony on a boat commemorating Wu Zixu (伍子) during the Duanwu Festival, a sudden strong gale shook the boat and he fell into the river and was drowned. Cao E was overwhelmed with grief. She, in an act of filial piety courageously decided to search for her father along the river for 17 days but could not find the body of her father. Cao E eventually dived into the water. After 5 days, she emerged holding her father’s body. Though dead, her face appeared as if she was alive.  People in Zhejiang (浙江) commemorated Cao E for her filial piety.

 

Bibliography and further readings :

宋搨越册楷帖十一種 (臨川李氏藏) (1937) 文明書局, 中華書局

https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%9B%B9%E5%A8%A5%E7%A2%91

http://baike.baidu.com/view/348160.htm?fr=iciba#7 (有注釋)

http://www.baike.com/wiki/%E3%80%8A%E6%9B%B9%E5%A8%A5%E7%A2%91%E3%80%8B

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