Du Mu Poem: Temple of the Heroine – 杜牧《题木兰庙》








[1] 木兰庙:在今湖北省黄冈县木兰山,上有木兰庙,供奉替父从征的女英雄木兰。据《演繁露》记载:“乐府有木兰,乃女子,代父征戍,十年而归,不受爵赏,人为作诗,然不著何代人。或者疑为寓言。”

[2] 画眉:古代妇女以黛色描画眉毛,以为装饰。《玉台新咏》:“新妆莫点黛,余还自画眉。”

[3] 拂云堆:在黄河北崖岸,今内蒙古自治区的乌喇特西北。旧有神祠,是当时祭祀求福的地方。这里是说木兰在黄河以北的边疆与胡人作战。

[4] 明妃:王昭君,本名王嫱,南郡秭归人。

Temple of the Heroine

Du Mu

She played the role of a man bending his bow,

But she dreamed of penciling her eyebrow.

How many times, homesick, wine cup in hand,

Would she bless the princess of her homeland?

The heroine refers to Hua Mulan who served in the army instead of her father, and the princess to Wang Zhaojun who was married to the Chief of the Tartars in 33 BC.


”Temple of the Heroine” is a seven-line poem by Du Mu, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. Through vivid portrayal of characters and meticulous psychological descriptions, the poem creates a touching image of a glorious heroine. The poet uses the technique of suppressing and then raising to express the sadness and sorrow in Mulan’s heart, which can be described as “words of sorrow among the guests and complaints of daughters”.

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