Xu Hun Poem: Frontier Song – 许浑《塞下曲》

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Xu Hun –许浑

塞下曲

许浑

夜战桑乾北[1]

秦兵半不归。

朝来有乡信,

犹自寄寒衣[2]

注释:

[1] 桑乾北:桑乾河北岸。桑乾河,永定河的上游,发源于山西,流经华北平原。

[2] 寒衣:御寒的衣服。

Frontier Song

Xu Hun

In snow our men did fight,

Half of them died at night.

But letters came next day:

Winter clothes on the way.

The poet is grieved over the soldiers’ death for lack of winter clothes.

Xu Hun –许浑

《塞下曲》是唐代诗人许浑创作的一首五言绝句。此诗以极其精练的手法,高度浓缩了战争的悲剧性。前两句叙述了发生在桑乾河北的夜战情况;后两句叙述远在家乡的亲人,不知道自己的亲人已死于战争,依然来信寄物,烘托出浓烈的悲剧气氛。全诗话句精练、构思巧妙、境界悲壮、意蕴深沉,委婉含蓄地表达了作者对战争的谴责和对士兵及其家属的同情。

“Frontier Song” is a five-line poem written by Xu Hun, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem highly condenses the tragedy of war in an extremely concise manner. The first two lines describe the night battle that took place in the north of Sangqian River; the second two lines describe the letters sent by relatives who were far away from home, not knowing that their loved ones had died in the war, which brings out the strong atmosphere of tragedy. The whole poem is concise, cleverly conceived, tragic, and deep in meaning, euphemistically and implicitly expressing the author’s condemnation of the war and his sympathy for the soldiers and their families.

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