黄连树下弹琴 ——— 苦中作乐
黄连是一种非常苦的中草药。弹琴又是一件非常快乐的事情。在黄连树下弹琴，苦中取乐，形成有趣的对比。注意汉语中的“苦”有味苦 (bitter) 和痛苦 (pain) 两个意义。“苦中作乐”的意思是在困苦的环境中寻求快乐。
Playing the zither under a Chinese pistache tree — seeking happiness from bitterness
The rhizome of Chinese goldthread which grows on Chinese pistache trees is an extremely bitter medicine, while playing the zither is a very enjoyable experience. So playing the instrument under such a tree makes an interesting contrast between bitterness and happiness. Note that 苦, bitter, can also mean pain. 苦中作乐 means seeking happiness and pleasure in an adverse and painful environment.