Rong Yu Poem: On Appeasement by Marriage – 戎昱《咏史》













[1] 汉家:汉朝。

[2] 青史:史册。古人在青竹简上纪事,后世就称史册为青史。

[3] 计:计策,计谋。

[4] 拙:愚笨。

[5] 社稷:本指古代天子诸侯祭祀土神、谷神的庙宇,后来用作国家政权的象征。

[6] 玉貌:美好的容貌,这里代指和亲的女子。

[7] 拟:意欲,打算

[8] 胡:汉唐时期,汉族称西、北方的少数民族为“胡人”。

[9] 尘:指烟尘,代指战争。

On Appeasement by Marriage

Rong Yu

The kings in history sank so low

As to appease by marriage the foe.

To rule is a sovereign’s duty.

Can safety depend on a beauty?

Could a face beautiful as jade

Repel the Tartars who invade?

Why were no loyal generals found

Among bones buried underground?

This is a satire against the kings who sought appeasement by marriage.


The poem “On Appeasement by Marriage” is a five-line poem written by the Tang Dynasty poet Rong Yu. The first couplet of the poem opens the door and bluntly points out that the policy of peacemaking is the most shoddy one. The first line of the poem is straightforward, pointing out that the governance of the country depends on the wise emperor, and that the implementation of the policy of conciliation is actually putting the country’s safety and security on a woman. The neck couplet is even more penetrating, revealing thoroughly that the essence of the peace treaty is to use women to beg for the peace of the country. The last couplet draws a lesson from history, pointing out that none of the advocates of peacemaking, who have become white bones for a thousand years, can be called ministers of the state. The poem is simple and straightforward, with a straightforward and broad argument, and with an impassioned and impassioned spirit, exposing the cowardice of the peacemaking policy and angrily accusing the imperial court of incompetence.

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