Du Fu: Moonlit Night, Recall My Young Brothers

Moonlit Night, Recall My Young Brothers

月 夜 忆 舍 弟
戍 鼓 断 人 行
边 秋 一 雁 声。
露 从 今 夜 白
月 是 故 乡 明。
有 弟 皆 分 散
无 家 问 死 生。
寄 书 长 不 达
况 乃 未 休 兵。

 

Yue Ye Yi She Di

Shu gu duan ren hang
Bian qiu yi yan sheng.
Lu cong jin ye bai
Ye shi gu xiang ming.

You di jie fen san
Wu jia wen si sheng.
Ji shu chang bu da
Kuang nai wei xiu bing.

 

Moonlit Night, Recall My Young Brothers

Garrison drums, curfew prevents travel
Edge of autumn, only one wild goose sound.
Tonight the dew gathers white and clear
Moonlight brings me to hometown realizations.

All of my brothers are scattered hither and yon
Without family nearby I wonder who is alive and who is dead.
For a long time sent letters that do not come back
Worse yet, the fighting has not yet stopped.

 

Commentary:

Hearing only one wild goose sound implies that it might be the only one left after large flocks have been killed and eaten.  Brothers scattered about so that they may serve in the army.  The timely exchange of letters is now a thing of the past.

 

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