Du Fu Poems: Song of the Frontier  (VI) – 杜甫《前出塞  (九首其六)》

前出塞
(九首其六)

挽[1]弓当挽强,

用箭当用长。

射人先射马,

擒贼先擒王。

杀人亦有限,

列国自有疆[2]。

苟能[3]制侵陵[4],

岂在多杀伤!

据说《前出塞》是写天宝末年哥舒翰征伐吐蕃的事。前四句很像当时军中流行的作战歌诀,讲如何练兵用武,克敌制胜。诗人用了欲擒先纵、先扬后抑的手法。后四句转写战争不应该多杀伤,而要在制止侵略的范围之内,尽量减少伤亡,这样才能体现“止戈为武”的精神。唐诗中以议论为主的很少,这首诗却以议论见长,并且富于哲理。

注释:

[1]挽:拉。

[2]疆:边界。

[3]苟能:如果能。

[4]侵陵:侵犯。

Song of the Frontier
(VI)

The bow you carry should be strong;

The arrows you use should be long.

Before a horseman, shoot 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?

 

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