Li Bai Poem: Frontier Song – 李白《塞下曲》








[1] 天山:今祁连山。

[2] 《折柳》:指《折柳枝》曲,为汉横吹曲之一。

[3] 金鼓:金,军中乐器,用金属制成,战时敲击用以号令将士停止进攻,即所谓鸣金收兵。鼓是战鼓,敲响战鼓就是向敌人发起进攻的号令,所谓一鼓作气。

[4] 将:拿。

[5] 楼兰:汉代时西域国名,在今新疆维吾尔自治区鄯善县东南。此代指楼兰国王。汉武帝派遣使者通大宛,途经楼兰。楼兰国王阻挡通道,并攻杀汉使臣。昭帝元凤四年,大将军霍光派遣平乐监傅介子前往楼兰,用计杀死其国王。见《汉书·傅介子传》。

Frontier Song

Li Bai

In summer sky-high mountains white with snow,

In bitter cold no fragrant flowers blow.

Songs on the flute are heard of Willows Green,

But nowhere is the vernal color seen.

From dawn till dusk to beats of drums they fight;

With saddle in their arms they rest at night.

From scabbard at my waist I’d draw my sword

To kill the chieftain of the Turki horde.

The poet sympathizes with the warriors fighting in the bitter cold on the frontier.


“Frontier Song” is a group of poems by Li Bai, a great poet of the Tang Dynasty. The theme of these six poems, which are based on the popular music titles of the Tang Dynasty, is a call for the pacification of the border. The poems reflect the spirit of the Tang Dynasty with their optimistic and high-spirited tone and majestic mood, depicting the hard life of the border guards on the battlefield and celebrating their bravery in serving the country. The poem contains descriptions of battle scenes as well as expressions of tender feelings in the bedroom, and is rich in content and mood, with a high tone and full of pride, expressing the poet’s noble patriotic sentiments.

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