Du Fu Poem: Song of the Frontier (Ⅵ) – 杜甫《前出塞(其六)》

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前出塞(其六)

杜甫

挽弓当挽强,

用箭当用长。

射人先射马,

擒贼先擒王。

杀人亦有限[1]

立国自有疆[2]

[3]能制[4]侵陵[5]

岂在多杀伤?

注释:

[1] 亦有限:也应该有个限度。

[2] 自有疆:本来应该有个疆界。

[3] 苟:如果。

[4] 制:制止。

[5] 侵陵:侵犯;侵略。

Song of the Frontier (Ⅵ)

Du Fu

The bow you carry should be strong;

The arrows you use should be long.

Shoot before a horseman his horse;

Capture the chief to beat his force,

Slaughter shan’t go beyond its sphere;

Each State should guard its own frontier.

If an invasion is repelled,

Why shed more blood unless compelled?

The poet speaks of the art of war and his love of peace.

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