Wang Wei: Yi Gate Song

Yi Gate Song

夷 门 歌
七 雄 雄 雌 犹 未 分
攻 城 杀 将 何 纷 纷。
秦 兵 益 围 邯 郸 急
魏 王 不 救 平 原 君。
公 子 为 赢 停 驷 马
执 辔 逾 恭 意 逾 下。
亥 为 屠 肆 鼓 刀 人
赢 乃 夷 门 抱 关 者。
非 但 慷 慨 献 奇 谋
意 气 兼 将 身 命 酬。
向 风 刎 颈 送 公 子
七 十 老 翁 何 所 求!
Yi Men Ge

Qi xiong xiong ci you wei fen
Gong cheng sha jiang he fen fen.
Qin bing yi wei han dan ji
Wei wang bu jiu ping yuan jun.

Gong zi wei ying ting si ma
Zhi pei yu gong yi yu xia.
Hai wei tu si gu dao ren
Ying nai yi men bao guan zhe.

Fei dan kang kai xian qi mou
Yi qi jian jiang shen ming chou.
Xiang feng wen geng song gong zi
Qi shi lao weng he suo qiu.


Yi Gate Song

Seven very powerful countries, still vying to see who is the strongest
City walls assaulted, numerous and confused prisoners.
Qin army reinforced, besiege the desperate Handan
Wei king does not rescue, but watches the flatland drama.

Gongzi calling on Ho Ying, stops his team of four horses
Holding the reins, to show his high respect and deference to Ho Ying.
Ju Hai, a pig butcher in the marketplace
Ho Ying, just a worker, who opens and closes the city gate.

He comes to Gongzi with a magnanimous and special plan
With command of will and spirit, he is ready to meet his destiny and repay a debt.
Facing west, Ho Ying cuts his own throat for Gongzi
Who is to question this seventy year old man.



Yi: The eastern gate of Kaifang city during the Warring States period (475-221 BC)

Qin: The State of Qin (897-221 BC).

Handan: The capital of the state of Zhao (475-222 BC).

Flatland drama: Wei’s army camped around Handan from the heights surrounding the city.

Gongzi, Ho Ying and Ju Hai: Gongzi is the son of the Wei king. He heard that Ho Ying was a man of talent and virtue. He wanted to befriend him and invite him over to his house. Ho Ying refused Gongzi’s written invitations, so he rode over to Ho Ying’s. Gongzi was sitting in the right-hand seat, requiring Ho Ying to sit in the left one, the seat of power and authority. Ho Ying asks Gongzi to stop in the marketplace, so he can talk to Ju Hai and his friends. Gongzi simply held the reins and waited for him, showing respect to Ju Hai as well. By doing this Gongzi, earned the respect and loyalty of both Ho Ying and Ju Hai.

Special plan: This plan called for Ru Ji, the Wei king’s favorite wife, to steal her husband’s hu fu ( a small tiger medallion, used by kings to confer authority to their army generals). Whoever possessed this hu fu, in effect controls the army. With the hu fu out of his possession, the king must now order the attack upon Handan.

Cuts his own throat: Ho Ying is too old to go with Gongzi and Ju Hai to deliver the hu fu to the army generals, so he commits suicide.

Who is to question: Wang Wei describes how there can be many good people, even when placed in the lower positions of society, and how they will die for a common cause if the leaders are virtuous and have merit.

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