Jī Xuě Níng Hán Tie 積雪凝寒帖 (Cao Shu 草書)(cursive script)
The images of ink rubbings have been photographical modified, with black and white reversed so that the characters are black on a white background.
計與足下別廿六年， 於今雖時書問, 不解闊懷。
Counting back I have not seen you for 26 years. While we write to each other from time to time, I still miss you very much.
After reading your two recent letters, I feel even more sorrowful (in not being able to see you).
Snow has thickly accumulated. (There had been heavy snowfall.) The weather is extremely cold. It has not been that cold for the last 50 years.
想頃如常, 冀來夏秋間, 或復得足下問耳。
I hope you are keeping well. I expect to hear from you sometime next Summer and Autumn.
Time flows on steadily. I do not know what to say about my gloomy feelings.
For further information on Shi Qi Tie, please visit the following webpage.
Cursive script: Shi Qi Tie (The Seventeenth) of Wang Xizhi 王羲之十七帖 (Part 1)
Kuài xuě shí qíng tiē 快雪時晴帖 (Xing Shū 行書)(semi-cursive script or running script)
The text: 羲之頓首快雪時晴佳想安善未果為結力不次王羲之頓首山陰張侯
頓首 mean bowing one’s head and is a courteous sign-off of letters. 羲之頓首 means Xizhi bows. 山陰張侯 Zhāng hóu of Shānyīn is the recipient of this letter.
The snow has fallen for a short time and it is sunny now. ( 剛才下了一陣雪，現在天又轉晴了。)
I trust you are keeping well. (想必你那裡一切都好吧！)
I have not finished writing the letter to fully express my thoughts. (沒能照心意把信寫完，表達難以得體。)
I felt helpless and inadequate. (心有餘而力不足。) OR I felt weak. I could not express myself probably. I had to stop writing. (體力不繼，表達難以得體，就此停筆。)
At the very end of the manuscript, there is a very small inscription of two characters ‘Jūn qiàn’ (君倩).
The calligraphy of Wang Xizhi was fresh, elegant and innovative.
Please see two more detailed webpages on these two masterpieces by Wang Xizhi.
Bibliography and further readings :
蔣勳 (2010) 手帖 南朝嵗月, INK 印刻文學生活雜誌出版有限公司 ISBN 978-986-6377-94-5
Ouyang Z and Wen C.F. (2008) Chinese Calligraphy, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-12107-0