Wang Wei: Northern Gansu Lament


Northern Gansu Lament

陇 头 吟
长 安 少 年 游 侠 客
夜 上 戎 楼 看 太 白。
陇 头 明 月 迥 临 关
陇 上 行 人 夜 吹 笛。
关 西 老 将 不 胜 愁
驻 马 听 之 双 泪 流。
身 经 大 小 百 馀 战
麾 下 偏 裨 万 户 侯。
苏 武 才 为 典 属 国
节 旄 空 尽 海 西 头!
Long Tou Yin

Chang an shao nian you xia ke
Ye shang rong lou kan tai bai.
Long tou ming yue lin guan
Long shang xing ren ye chui di.

Guan xi lao jiang bu sheng chou
Zhu ma ting zhi shuang lei liu.
Shen jing da xiao bai yu zhan
Hui xia pian pi wan hu hou.
Su wu cai wei dian shu guo
Jie mao kong jin hai xi tou!


Northern Gansu Lament

Chang’an youth identify with itinerant warriors
Last night from the armory tower they viewed Venus.
Northern Gansu moonlight overlooks Lin Guan
Northern Gansu nighttime strollers play bamboo flutes.

To the west, outside the city gate, an old general with the anxiety and sorrow of defeat
Stops his horse, hearing of this doubles the flow of tears.
Personally leading more than one hundred battles
Possessing the standard of a second-level general, he has visited the doors of many high government officials.
Shuwu was just a pawn under the imperial authority
With a shepherd’s whip, living in the emptiness beyond Bai Hai.



Lin Guan: A border mountain pass in the Gansu Province area.

Shuwu: He was a high Han government official, imprisoned for 19 years by the Xiongu (northern nomads), held for heavy ransom after going into their territory as a peace emissary. For all of those years he worked as a shepherd. He was rescued by a military operation.

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