lit: ride ox return home number six
迤邐 lit: meandering, wandering, going on winding roads
欲還家 desire to return home, homesick
my “translation”: Riding together along the meandering paths, we both long to be back home
羗笛 Qiang flute – an ancient type of flute
聲聲 lit: sound, sound; meaning?: slow sound – soft sound?
送 lit: send someone off, give, offer
晚 lit: evening
霞 lit: the light and clouds at sunrise and sunset
my “translation”: With the gentle song of my ancient flute we say good night to the setting sun
一拍一歌 lit: one beat one song; meaning?: one note from one song
無限 lit: no limit
意: lit idea, mind, thought
my “translation”: One note from one song, limitless understanding
知音 lit: know sound; meaning: one who listens attentively, bosom friend, a friend who understands you
何必 lit: why certainly; meaning: why?
鼓唇牙 lit: drum, lip, teeth; meaning: nonsense sounds, meaningless words
my “translation”: No words are needed between these two friends
Translation by Gen P. Sakamoto:
Riding the bull, I leisurely wander toward home,
Exotic flute melodies echo through sunset clouds,
Each beat and each tune indescribably profound,
No words are needed for those who understand music.
(Sakamoto translation and images found here: https://terebess.hu/english/oxherd29.html)
HSK1 and HSK2 characters:
牛, 家, 六, 還, 送, 晚, 一, 歌, 意, 知, 音
騎 (骑), 聲 (声), 牙
序, 無 (无), 何, 鼓
歸 (归), 拍, 限, 必
欲, 霞, 唇
more advanced (not covered in hsk exams):
迤, 邐, 羗, 笛
The two character word 知音 comes from an ancient story about a master flute player and his friend, an illiterate woodcutter who always immediately understood the subject of any song played by his friend as soon as he heard the first note. Follow this link to read more about Yu Boya (俞伯牙) and Zhong Ziqi (钟子期): The Legend of Yu Boya and Zhong Ziqi.