Her Last Words
(The poet’s original note: A woman comrade was wounded in an encounter with the enemy while crossing a river. As death approached, her companions all wept. She opened her eyes and said, “For the Revolution, blood, not tears, is shed.” With these words she passed away. When I heard about it, I was moved by the heroism of her words. Hence this poem in memory of this comrade.)
”For th’ Revolution, blood, not tears, is shed!”
(So the dying heroine, gasping, said.)
Or live or die, all is quite commonplace!
Complaint, regret, there is never a trace.
O so much loyal blood has been in flood,
That not even the Yangtse’ course can hold.
And her one sentence truly bears the weight
Of th’ Nine Tripods (1) —(symbol of power of state),
And will last ages, ’til Time itself grows old!
(1)As an old Chinese legend has it, the Great Yu collected all the copper from the Nine States of China and cast it into nine tripods, symbolizing the Nine States.
Written in a Storm
(In A.D. 1192 when the poet was 68, in retirement in Shanyin County, Zhejiang.)
Abed, motionless, in a lonely village,
For myself I sorrow not.
All I seek’s defence of my country’s frontier,
And to me a station there allot.
Lying in the depth of the night I listen
To the winds blowing the rain,
And iron-clad horses o’er frozen rivers,
As of old, invade my dreams again.
To My Son
(The Last Poem)
That after death everything
Becomes void, I sure perceive;
Yet, not to have seen my country unified is still what makes me grieve.
When the King’s northward-bound Army
The Central Plains does reacquire,
In your ancestral sacrifices
Forget not tell your sire!
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Crack up primeval rock and soil,
There glistening black gold we find;
Preserved in such fine sunny warmth
In Nature’s breast deep and kind.
A little fire oft makes one feel
What Spring’s expansive breaths incite,
And a burning furnace could break up
The densest darkness of the night.
Bronze tripods and wine-vessels1 ’re shaped
By its vital power and energy,
And melt iron retains on it
Its posthumous felicity.
So long as all God’s children be
Relieved from hunger, free from cold,
It cares not if, from wooded mountains
It comes to vast sufferings untold.
1. Bronze tripods and wine-vessels (the ding and the yi) were symbols of state power in feudal China.
Cut open the ground
And out comes black, black gold,
One chunk of blackness
And spring sunshine returns.
A stove glows bright,
Bronze tripods are born with your help,
Wine cups are born with your help,
And the steel you helped make
Keeps the virtue of your denial of self:
Let people be well cared for
And what do you care
If you are dug up from the earth
Through so many hardships.
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To Fulfill Your Will
Tossing in orchid-scented bed,
I hug the thick quilt all alone.
Then, rising, I begin to read
The devotion poem Bozhou1 again.
Cold is the frost, and bright the moon,
—But where’d I as a sight of you regain?
Shadows grow pale, the wick’s burnt out,
Ah, yes, the night has deepened so!
Even to meet in drams has not
Been easy, this, too, I know.
No way your spirit to recall—
Hence the irrepressible chagrin.
But let my grief itself transcend
So that I may fulfill your will:
—Devotion of my heart and soul
To serve the Country, to defend!
1. Gong Bo, heir to the Duke of Wei (one of the fiefdoms during the Chunqiu Period—8th to 5th century B.C.), died early. His young widow Gong Jiang refused his parents’ order to remarry. She wrote the poem entitled Bozhou to express her unchanged, lasting love for her late husband.
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Hair on End
(Tune: “The River All Red”)
Yue Fei (1)
Hair on end and shoving my hat,
In wrath I lean on th’ balustrade,
While th’ rain leaves off its pitter-pat.
Eyes fixed skyward, I sign long and loud.
A hero’s fury fills my breast.
At thirsty, nothing achieved, unknown,
—but these to me are light as dust—
I’ve fought through eight-thousand li
Holding the field, under cloud and moon.
What I do mind, is not to let
My young head turn white in vain,
And be gnawed by empty sorrow then.
With the Jingkang Humiliation (2) yet
How can a subject’s grievance be
Ever effaced from memory?
I’ll send war-chariots rough-shod
Through the gorges of Mt. Helan;
To quench my thirst, I’d drink the blood
Of Huns, while laugh and chat I can;
Heroic minded, to satiate hunger,
I would make Tartars’ flesh my fare.
’Til our lost land is all retrieved,
Then to the Imperial Palace, there
I’ll make obeisance, relieved!
(1) Yue Fei (1103-1141) is among the most revered and commemorated national heroes inChinese history. He is chiefly remembered for his unswerving, staunch and successful resistance ofthe Jin (the Nu Zhen Nationality) invasions and his tragic end—murdered for his very merits. Butwhat is handed down of his poetry can hold its own in the history of Chinese literature, as seen inthe instance of this poem.
(2) The Jingkang Humiliation refers to the capture of the two emperors Qinzong and Huizong bythe Jin invaders in 1127.
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Tune: “Prelude to the Water Melody”
I shattered two jade tumblers with a thump,
What fervid vehemence is manifest!
With blood-stained tears arising in a lump,
How can my elegiac sorrow be expressed!
A three-century-old dynastic destiny!
The same mountains, rivers—as eyes can scan,
Yet, how is now this country being run?
While sumptuous banquets the elite are throwing,
Signs of invasion at th’ borders are brewing.
Thousand-tael-worth might swords,
And strategies of ten-thousand words,
Are offered all in vain!
Inebriated, I rant, a-facing the wall;
But cooling off, my tears burst forth like rain.
‘Tis not for my waning youth I regret,
But by my youthful aspirations mauled
And pulverized I sorely am beset.
O let the people’s sufferings all be mine,
In homage I kneel, entreating at Buddha’s shrine.
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2010-5-4 11:54| 发布者: sisu04| 查看: 429| 评论: 0
The Autumn Chrysanthemums
Autumn chrysanthemums scorn the frost,
Though wind and frost rage oft and again.
If by nature they’re made cold-proof,
How can wind and frost bring harm then?
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Back to Beyond the Yumen Pass1
A tune of triumphant return
Our martial song “Broadsword” must ring.
Back to beyond the Yumen Pass,
We vow the alien brutes to fling.
Prepared but on the battlefield
To die for our country, in pride,
Do we care whether our remains
Will be brought back wrapped in horse-hide?
1. The Yumen Pass, western Gansu Province, ever since ancient times has been regarded as a sort of “watershed” between China Proper and the western minority regions.
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Hacked and hammered a thousand times,
From the depth of the mountains it comes.
Through hectic heat and frantic flame,
Unperturbed it stays the same.
Flesh and bone to smithereens crushed,
It still is unafraid, unflushed.
For all it desires from its birth,
Is leaving whiteness to this earth.
It was digging
That led me into the world.
What can heating
Do to hurt me, now?
Reduce me to dust, to powder,
I’m not afraid
So long as I remain stainless, and pure.
Song of the Lime
You come out of deep mountains after hammer blows;
Under fire and water tortures you’re not in woes.
Though broken into pieces, you will have no fright;
You’ll purify the world by washing it e’er white.
Song of the Limestone
Thou, having suffer’d countless strikes, come’st out from mountain deep;
Undaunted in the face of falmes which do around thee leap.
Though destin’d to be pulveriz’d thou show’st no sign of fright,
For ‘tis thy wish to leave with th’ world a lily white!