Tang Shi Introduction Table of content – 300 Tang poems

An anthology of 320 poems. Discover Chinese poetry in its golden age and some of the greatest Chinese poets. Tr. by Bynner (en).

IV — Folk-song-styled-verse

74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89

Tangshi IV. 1. (86)

Du Fu
A Song of War-chariots

The war-chariots rattle,
The war-horses whinny.
Each man of you has a bow and a quiver at his belt.
Father, mother, son, wife, stare at you going,
Till dust shall have buried the bridge beyond Changan.
They run with you, crying, they tug at your sleeves,
And the sound of their sorrow goes up to the clouds;
And every time a bystander asks you a question,
You can only say to him that you have to go.
...We remember others at fifteen sent north to guard the river
And at forty sent west to cultivate the campfarms.
The mayor wound their turbans for them when they started out.
With their turbaned hair white now, they are still at the border,
At the border where the blood of men spills like the sea –
And still the heart of Emperor Wu is beating for war.
...Do you know that, east of China's mountains, in two hundred districts
And in thousands of villages, nothing grows but weeds,
And though strong women have bent to the ploughing,
East and west the furrows all are broken down?
...Men of China are able to face the stiffest battle,
But their officers drive them like chickens and dogs.
Whatever is asked of them,
Dare they complain?
For example, this winter
Held west of the gate,
Challenged for taxes,
How could they pay?
...We have learned that to have a son is bad luck-
It is very much better to have a daughter
Who can marry and live in the house of a neighbour,
While under the sod we bury our boys.
...Go to the Blue Sea, look along the shore
At all the old white bones forsaken –
New ghosts are wailing there now with the old,
Loudest in the dark sky of a stormy day.

Bynner 86

Tang Shi IV. 1. (86) IntroductionTable of content
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300 Tang poems – Tang Shi IV. 1. (86) – Chinese on/offFrançais/English
Alias Tang Shi San Bai Shou, Three Hundred Poems of the Tang Dynasty, Poésie des Thang.

The Book of Odes, The Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean, Three-characters book, The Book of Changes, The Way and its Power, 300 Tang Poems, The Art of War, Thirty-Six Strategies
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