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24 June 2019

155 views. 2019-7-6 09:53

Have no family member to say goodbye

無家别

After the Tianbao of Tang Xuanzong, the vast country has become desolate and uninhabited. The deserted villages are completely overgrown with wormwood and pigweeds.  

寂寞天寳後,園廬但蒿藜。

In our hamlet there were once one hundred odd households. All of them have been displaced by the turbulent times.

我里百餘家,世亂各東西。

I have no news of the survivors. The deceased have turned into dust.

存者無消息,死者為塵泥。

After we suffered a terrible defeat at Ye City, I returned to look for the former path to my village.

賎子因陣敗,歸来尋舊蹊。

In the pale sunlight I saw nothing but deserted alleys, a heart-rending sight during the long walk in my village。

久行見空巷,日瘦氣惨凄。

The sudden appearance of several foxes quite surprised me. They howled displeasure at me with their hair on end.

但對狐與狸,竪毛怒我啼。

There are only two old widows left in our neighborhood.

四鄰何所有,一二老寡妻。

Even a bird is reluctant to leave the branch it first perched on, how can I desert my homeland? Let me settle here for the time being。

宿鳥戀本枝,安辭且窮栖。

It's just spring and I went to hoe the field alone。 I returned at dusk watering the vegetable beds。

方春獨荷鋤,日暮還灌畦。

Knowing my homecoming, the bailiffs of the county came to enlist me in the army again.

縣吏知我至,召令習鼓鞞。

I'll serve in our locality but I can find nothing in my house for me to take along.

雖從本州役,内顧無所携。

I feel lucky to perform military service near my home in spite of my loneliness. I may lose my way back if sent far away.

近行止一身,逺去終轉迷。

Now that my home village has been empty, it’s the same to me whether to serve far or near。

家郷既蕩盡,逺近理亦齊。

It pains me deeply to be absent from the deathbed of mother who had been ill for so long without being properly buried five years ago.

永痛長病母,五年委沟溪。

She gave birth to me and brought me up in vain and died with a grievance in her heart at last. And I also have to swallow my resentment and choke back my sobs.   

生我不得力,終身兩酸嘶。

How can I be called a civilian when getting into such a plight without any family member to bid farewell?

人生無家别,何以為蒸黎。

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