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I've been trying to translate some seal script on a small piece a friend brought back from Japan. I've been using http://www.guoxuedashi.com/ and hanziyuan.net to guess them and think I ended up with this:
line 1: 佗伴像水来是XX
line 2: 物叱水XX雲XX
Line 3: 佺東氣何

Can anyone assist with the characters, and with a translation?

Thanks so much,

Dom enter image description here

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  • Great! Thanks for making an effort, normally people don’t :(
    – dROOOze
    Dec 29 '19 at 7:16
  • It was actually fun - I learnt Japanese and did calligraphy so am familiar with seal script and radicals in general. But some of them are hard work!
    – Dom
    Dec 29 '19 at 9:19
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This is an incomplete text of the poem 《西江月・作伴修行未是》 by Yuan Dynasty poet 譚處端, produced verbatim from the image, detailed below:

The text is split into columns from right to left as on the image, with pauses inserted at「//」. Characters inside parentheses()indicate the modern equivalent.

  1. ⿰亻𠆦(作)伴修行未是 // 𩙞𩙞(飄飄)

  2. 物外行持 // 孤雲野鶴

  3. 任東㢴(西)// 何有些兒礙

  4. 滯 // 淡飯𢒫(尋)他兩頓 // 清


The rest of the poem is:

清淨淨無爲 //

寂寥瀟洒最相宜 //

別有一般滋味

My translation (roughly paraphrased):

元・譚處端《西江月・作伴修行未是》

作伴修行未是,飄飄物外行持。

The accompanying disciples' self-cultivating journey is incomplete, walking along the turbulent spiritual passages;

孤雲野鶴任東西。

following the path of mysterious, recluse sages.

何有些兒礙滯。

What is there to stop their journey?

淡飯尋他兩頓,清清淨淨無爲。

Finding scarce meals, plain, simple, and natural,

寂寥瀟洒最相宜。

the balance of tranquillity and aloofness

別有一般滋味。

has a sweetness of its own.

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  • quite strange, that the text is chopped after "清". and, the cloud patterns (雲紋) on the edge are slightly in different size :( Dec 29 '19 at 12:20
  • @水巷孑蠻 maybe its half of a two-part block...or maybe the craftsmanship just isn't that great :). Seal script writings tend to be subject to more mutilation because not many people can read them to tell that it's been cut off haha
    – dROOOze
    Dec 30 '19 at 1:13
  • Thanks for all of that Drooze! That's been very helpful :-)
    – Dom
    Jan 1 '20 at 11:33

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