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23 June 2019

228 views. 2019-7-2 22:26

Bailiffs at Shihao village

石壕吏

At twilight I put up at Shihao village for the night when I saw the local bailiffs were recruiting soldiers by force.

石壕村,捉人。

The old host escaped by climbing over the wall. And the old hostess went outside having a look.

老翁老婦出门看。

How angrily the bailiffs was barking! How pitifully the old woman was crying!

一何一何

I heard the woman saying that her three sons had joined the army attacking the rebels at Ye City and one sent a letter home telling that the other two had just been killed in battle.

聽婦詞:三男邺城一男附書至二男戰死。

The survivors had to drag out an ignoble existence temporarily。 The deceased were gone forever。

且偷生死者長已矣

There was no other man in the house except her sucking grandson, whose mother did not leave for the child and she had no intact clothes for going out.

室中更無人,惟有乳下孫有孫母出入無完裙

She added although she was old and feeble, she could go back with the guys to the military camp at Heyang that night for the urgency of the situation there. She hoped to be in time for preparing breakfast for the soldiers.

老嫗力雖請從吏夜歸應河陽役,猶得備晨炊

As the night advanced, the speaking ceased at last. It sounded like someone weeping intermittently. On my leaving at daybreak, I bade farewell to the old host alone.

夜久語聲聞泣幽咽登前途与老翁别。

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