Hymn to the Fallen 國殤

該內容僅提供英文版。 For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

From the ‘Nine Songs’ in The Songs of the South 楚辭九歌國殤, translated by David Hawkes, who says this ‘is surely one of the most beautiful laments for fallen soldiers in any language.’ (See Hawkes, The Songs of the South: An Anthology of Ancient Chinese Poems by Qu Yuan and Other Poets, Penguin Classics, 1985, p.117.)


Hymn to the Fallen

Grasping our great shields and wearing our hide armour
Wheel-hub to wheel-hub locked, we battle hand to hand.

Our banners darken the sky; the enemy teem like clouds:
Through the hail of arrows the warriors press forward.

They dash on our lines; they trample our ranks down.
The left horse has fallen, the right one is wounded.

The wheels are embedded, the foursome entangled:
Seize the jade drumstick and beat the sounding drum!
The time is against us: the gods are angry.
Now all lie dead, left on the field of battle.

They went out never more to return:
Far, far away they lie, on the level plain,
Their long swords at their belts, clasping their Qin bows,
Head from body sundered:
but their hearts could not be vanquished.

Both truly brave and also truly noble;
Strong to the last, they could not be dishonoured.
Their bodies may have died, but their souls are living:
Heroes among the shades their valiant souls will be.

操吳戈兮被犀甲,
車錯轂兮短兵接。

旌蔽日兮敵若雲,
矢交墜兮士爭先。

凌餘陣兮躐餘行,
左驂殪兮右刃傷。

霾兩輪兮縶四馬,
援玉枹兮擊鳴鼓。
天時懟兮威靈怒,
嚴殺盡兮棄原野。

出不入兮往不反,
平原忽兮路超遠。
帶長劍兮挾秦弓,
首身離兮心不懲。

 

誠既勇兮又以武,
終剛強兮不可凌。
身既死兮神以靈,
魂魄毅兮爲鬼雄。