Leaving Sea of Desolation


 
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Dead lotus on desolate West Lake in winter

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Leaving Sea of Desolation
        Wen Tianxiang 1236-1282

All the suffering I've encountered
        beagan with one classic,
Weapons in short supply
        four years of war under the stars.
Mountains and rivers ravished
        wind blown cotton catkins,
My life jounced and jolted 
        rain spatterd duckweed.
On fearful beachheads
        I spoke of fear,
On desolate seas
        I sighed in desperation.
Since ancient times
        who has not met death?
Let my loyal heart
        illuminate history.
 
Guō Língdīngyáng
Wén Tiānxiáng 1236-1282

Xīnkǔ zāoféng qǐ yī jīng,
Gāngē luòluò sìzhōu xīng.
Shānhé pòsuì fēng pāo xù,
Shēnshìpaiōyáo yǔ dǎ píng.
Huáng kǒng tāntóu shuō huáng kǒng,
Língdīngyáng lǐ tàn língdīng.
Rénshēng zìgǔ shuí wú sǐ,
Liúqǔ dānxīn zhào hànqīng.

 
Translator: Dongbo 東波

Notes:
Written by Wen Tianxiang 1236-1283, the Song Prime Minister and loyalist who died a martyr's death by order of Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan. Perhaps the Sea of Desolation is West Lake in the Song capital of Linan (Hangzhou) which Wen viewed one last time as he was led into captivity.

 
 
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