|北征 杜甫 (712-770)
皇帝二載秋 , 閏八月初吉。
杜子將北征 , 蒼茫問家室。
维時遭艱虞 , 朝野少暇日。
顧慚恩私被 , 詔許歸蓬篳。
拜辭詣闕下 , 怵惕久未出。
雖乏諫諍姿 , 恐君有遺失。
君誠中興主 , 經緯固密勿。
東胡反未已 , 臣甫憤所切。
揮涕戀行在 , 道途猶恍惚。
乾坤含瘡痍 , 憂虞何時畢。
Northward March (written in 757) Du Fu (712-770)
Autumn, in the second year of His Majesty’s sway,
Early in August, on a good day,
I set off on a northward journey,
Hurriedly to visit my family.
During this period of upheaval,
The Court rarely passes a day restful.
I feel ashamed of the grace given me,
To return to my humble family.
I took leave of my audience at the imperial Court
But hesitate to depart without a thought.
Though lacking in counseling countenance,
I fear there’re slips in His governance.
Our King, destined to uphold
The Empire, at times difficult,
Being always meticulous and careful.
The Eastern rebels are still roving untamed,
That’s why my rancour and pain are unnamed,
Leaving, in tears, the palace of my King, I find
I’m on my way with an absent mind.
My country devastated in ruins,
When can such miseries and perils end?
靡靡逾阡陌 , 人烟渺簫瑟。
所遇多被傷 , 呻吟更流血。
迴首鳳翔縣 , 旌旗晚明滅。
前登寒山重 , 屢得飲馬窟。
邠郊入地底 , 涇水中蕩潏。
猛虎立我前 , 蒼崖吼時裂。
菊垂今秋花 , 石戴古車轍。
青雲動高興 , 幽事亦可悅。
山果多瑣細 , 羅生雜橡栗。
或红如丹砂 , 或黑如點漆。
雨露之所濡 , 甘苦齊结實。
緬思桃源内 , 益嘆身世拙。
坡陀望鄜畤 , 岩谷互出没。
我行已水濱 , 我僕猶木末。
鸱鳥嗚黄桑 , 野鼠拱亂穴。
夜深經戰場 , 寒月照白骨。
潼關百萬師 , 往者散何卒。
遂令半秦民 , 殘害為異物。
Slowly I cross the country fields,
Villages deserted, not a soul is in view.
Mostly the wounded, that I met,
Were groaning as they bled.
I look back at Fengchang for a last sight,
Banners are lit up, flickering in the night.
I climb up the snowy mountains time and again,
Crossing ponds for war horses now and then.
The river flows to the low grounds,
In turbulence the currents bounce.
A tiger blocks my way yonder,
Its roars make the cliff almost founder.
Autumn flowers are everywhere,
Old wheel-marks, the rock faces still bear.
Clear clouds drift above merrily in sight,
Such scenery still brings delight.
Wild fruits are tiny and small,
Among walnuts and oaks growing tall.
Some are red as cinnabar,
Others black as lacquer.
With dew and rain of the season,
To all sort of tastes they ripen.
The legend of Peach Spring, I fantasize,
And deplore the misfortunes of my life.
I watch Fu County from the downs,
Ravines interlocking with high grounds.
While I have reached the river’s edge,
My page is still at the woods’ hedge.
A kite perching on a wild mulberry caws,
Rats between raised burrows craw.
Deep into the night, by a battlefield I pass,
On bare bones, the cold moonlight casts.
The million-strong defence at Tong Pass,
How was it defeated so fast?
The population in Qin was halved,
Suffering fatality in a blood-bath.
况我墮胡塵 , 及歸盡華髮。
經年至茅屋 , 妻子衣百結。
慟哭松聲迴 , 悲泉共幽咽。
平生所嬌兒 , 颜色白勝雪。
見耶背面啼 , 垢膩脚不襪。
牀前两小女 , 補绽才過膝。
海圖拆波圖 , 舊繡移曲折。
天吴及紫鳳 , 顛倒在裋褐。
老夫情懷惡 , 嘔泄卧數日。
那無囊中帛 , 救汝寒凜慄。
粉黛亦解苞 , 衾裯稍羅列。
瘦妻面復光 , 癡女頭自櫛。
學母無不為 , 曉妝隨手抹。
移時施朱鉛 , 狼籍畫眉闊。
生還對童稚 , 似欲望饑渴。
問事競挽鬚 , 誰能即嗔喝。
翻思在賊愁 , 甘受雜亂聒。
新歸且慰意 , 生理焉得說。
After I suffer captivity by the Hus,
My hair turns grey when I reach home.
Over a year before I get to my hut,
Finding my wife in tatters at home.
Our cries echo from the woods nearby,
The murmuring brook shares our sobs and sigh.
My most beloved child of my life,
His face, as snow, pale and fair.
Seeing his father he turns to cry,
His feet, dirty and bare.
My two little daughters by the bed,
By stitches and patch,
Cover up hardly to their knees.
Wavy patterns of the sea,
Are cut from old embroidery.
Figures and phoenix are found,
On my child’s coat, upside down.
I’m in a real bad mood and state,
Nausea and dysentery hang over me for days.
In my bag, silvers only by a handful,
Can they save you from the cold?
Facial make-ups are unpacked,
And the beddings are decently decked.
My wife gains some colour on her sallow face,
My innocent girl dressing her hair back.
Learning from her mother she would,
Morning make-up causally put.
The rouge and lead powder she takes,
But unskillfully paints her eyebrows double thick.
Looking at the children after surviving the war,
I don’t seem to remember hunger and thirst at all.
My moustache is tugged to compete for an answer,
How can I bellow out at my children in anger?
Recalling my days of capture in the rebels’ camp,
I had to suffer nuisance and rowdiness from them.
Recently returned home and in good mood,
I’ve no time to worry about my livelihood.
至尊尚蒙塵 , 幾日休練卒。
仰觀天色改 , 生覺妖氛豁。
陰風西北來 , 慘澹隨回紇。
其王願助順 , 其俗善馳突。
送兵五千人 , 驅馬一萬匹。
此輩少為貴 , 四方服決。
所用皆鹰騰 , 破敵過箭疾。
聖心頗虛佇 , 時議氣欲奪。
伊洛指掌收 , 西京不足拔。
官軍請深入 , 蓄銳可俱發。
此舉開青徐 , 旋瞻略峘碣。
昊天積霜露 , 正氣有肅殺。
禍轉亡胡嵗 , 勢成擒胡月。
胡命其能久 , 皇綱未宜絕。
Our Emperor still a fugitive from harm,
When can this turmoil turn to calm?
Looking up I see the sky changing by the day,
And feel demonic airs dissipate.
A strong wind coming from the north-west,
Following the wake of the Huihe dash.
Its king eager to help the right
Its soldiers excel in horseback fights.
Five thousand men they sent,
With ten thousand horses to encamp.
Numbers to them, do not count,
Their bravery is well renowned.
With crack troops they deploy,
Quicker than an arrow, an enemy destroyed.
His Majesty is prepared to wait,
While a common consensus is made.
Loyang’s recovery is a matter of speed,
Chang’an shall be taken whenever we need.
The imperial legions eager to strike deep and bold,
Elite troops on all fronts, prepared to go.
Qing and Xuzhou regions shall open up again,
The next target shall be Hengshan then.
This autumn comes with dew and frost-bite;
The season shall defend the right,
As the cold and chill will let no respite.
The tide will turn for the rebels’ demise, before the year is out,
Even this month they shall have a rout.
The Hus won’t last, it’s a matter of when,
This Empire framework will not end.
憶昔狼狽初 , 事與古先別。
奸臣竟葅醢 , 同惡隨蕩析。
不聞夏殷衰 , 中自誅褒妲。
周漢獲再興 , 宣光果明哲。
桓桓陳將軍 , 仗鉞奮忠烈。
微爾人盡非 , 於今國猶活。
淒凉大同殿 , 寂寞白獸闥。
都人望翠華 , 佳氣向金闕。
園陵固有神 , 掃灑數不缺。
煌煌太宗業 , 樹立甚宏達。
When the ghastly events unfold,
History has not seen the same, of old.
Finally the evil intriguer was diced,
His accomplices all erased and chastised.
Haven’t we heard of Xia and Yin being laid waste,
All because of obsession in a pretty face.
Zhou and Han were able to restore their fate,
Because they had kings wise and sophisticate.
General Chen, a bastion of calm,
As loyal as he is brave at arms.
Without him, history rewrites,
Now the country gains a new life.
There is no audience at the Hall of Datong,
The Central Gate is unused and left alone.
For the King’s standard, citizens gaze,
Thriving omens descend on the golden palace.
The ancestral tombs are blessed,
Respects to them will not rest.
Tai-zong’s Empire was great and strong,
It will continue far and long.
Note 1: 杜甫, 字子美, 祖籍襄陽, 今湖北, 出生河南。開元二十三年 (735) 赴洛陽考進士試, 未
天寶後, 赴長安試, 因李林甫故亦落第, 終身未成進士。天寶十四年, 任河西率府參軍。
755年, 安史亂起, 任肅宗左拾遺, 後獲罪肅宗, 貶華州司功参軍。 後棄官入蜀, 築草堂於成
前曾入劍南節度使幕, 授檢校工部員外郎, 世因稱杜工部。代宗三年 (768) 攜家出峽,
途中病倒船中, 死於770年。家屬無力營葬, 旅殯於岳州, 後曾孫輩移葬於首陽山下。
Translator’s note: This epic was composed in 757, two years after the start of the An-shi
Rebellion安史之亂. When Tong Pass潼關 was lost to the rebels in 756, the capital Chang’
an 長安was threatened. Emperor Xuan Zong 玄宗 fled the capital with his court. At the
post of Mahui 馬嵬驛, the imperial regiments mutinied and killed the prime minister Yang
Guozhong 楊國忠who was accused to be the prime cause of the rebellion. His cousin
Yang Yuhuan 楊玉環who was the favourite Consort 貴妃of Emperor Xuan Zong was also
put to death for fear of later reprisal. When Xuan Zong fled further to Sichuan四川, crown
prince Li Heng 李亨stayed in Ningwu靈武 and was proclaimed Emperor Su Zong 肅宗.
From there the loyal armies rallied and together with a northern tribe Huihe回紇, they
counter-attacked and recovered Chang’an and Loyang. Su Zong died in 762 and one year
later the entire An-shi rebellion was stemmed out.
Du fu was at the time appointed deputy counselor 左拾遺to Emperor Su Zong at the
temporary capital Fengchang鳳翔. He was given leave to visit his family and started his
journey north. On his way he was stopped and captured by the rebels and later released.
The poem can be divided into the following paragraphs:
(a) Author was given leave by the Emperor to visit his home in Fuzhou 鄜州;
(b) A description of the scenes he saw on his way from Fengchang 鳳翔;
(c) Describing the state his family was in and his feelings;
(d) A discussion of the general war situation and the imminent recovery of the lost
(e) A wish that the Empire shall revive after the havoc of the rebellion.