Du Fu: The Sorrows of Chen Tao

The Sorrows of Chen Tao

悲 陈 陶
孟 冬 十 郡 良 家 子
血 作 陈 陶 泽 中 水。
野 旷 天 清 无 战 声
四 万 义 军 同 日 死。
群 胡 归 来 血 洗 箭
仍 唱 胡 歌 饮 都 市。
都 人 回 面 向 北 啼
日 夜 更 望 官 军 至。
Bei Chen Tao

Meng dong shi jun liang jia zi
Xue zuo chen tao ze zhong shui
Ye kuang tian qing wu zhan sheng
Si wan yi jun tong ri si.

Qun hu gui lai xue xi jian
Reng chang hu ge yin dou shi.
Dou ren hui mian xiang bei ti
Ri ye geng wang guan jun zhi.

 

The Sorrows of Chen Tao

First months of winter, gather up good men from the ten surrounding
prefectures
Rising blood at Chen Tao mixes with pools of water.
Open country and empty skies without any sounds of war
On the same day, forty thousand loyal army troops died.

Groups of the northern hordes entered the city to wash the blood off of their arrows
They often drink and sing their nomadic songs in the city streets.
Our residents turn towards the north and cry
Gaze into the distance, for days and nights search for any signs of the
imperial army.

 

Notes:

Chen Tao: Some 40,000 soldiers were lost during the battle for Chen Tao, located east of the Xianyong Palace. The palace was located on the Wei River, a few miles west and upstream from the capital city of Chang’an. It was the capital during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC).

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