Du Fu Poems: Song of the Conscripts- 杜甫《兵车行》

兵车行

车辚辚[1],马萧萧,

行人[2]弓箭各在腰。

耶[3]娘妻子走相送,

尘埃不见咸阳桥[4]。

牵衣顿足拦道哭,

哭声直上干[5]云霄。

道旁过者问行人,

行人但云点行频。

或从十五北防河,

便至四十西营田。

去时里正与裹头,

归来头白还戍边。

边庭[6]流血成海水,

武皇开边意未已。

君不闻,

汉家山东二百州,

千村万落生荆杞[7]。

纵有健妇把锄犁,

禾生陇亩[8]无东西。

况复秦兵耐苦战,

被驱不异犬与鸡。

长者虽有问,

役夫敢申恨?

且如今年冬,

未休关西卒。

县官急索租,

租税从何出?

信知生男恶,

反是生女好。

生女犹得嫁比邻,

生男埋没随百草。

君不见,

青海头,

古来白骨无人收。

新鬼烦冤旧鬼哭,

天阴雨湿声啾啾。

这首诗通过目睹耳闻的送别情景,揭露了唐玄宗对外发动战争给人民带来的痛苦,充满了反战情绪。诗从客观描写开始,说到“道旁过者问行人”,“过者”是过路人,就是杜甫自己;“行人”谈到15岁出征,40岁还在戍边的“征夫”。这句以上写诗人亲眼所见;以下写亲耳所闻:“行人但云点行频”,就是征夫回答说征兵太频繁了。下面的“武皇”是以汉喻唐,用汉武帝影射唐玄宗,“汉家”也是暗指唐王室。“长者虽有问”一句中,“长者”是征夫对诗人的尊称,“役夫”是征夫的自称。“未休关西卒”是说还在大量征兵,要去关西打仗。这是诗人通过当事人的口述,揭露征兵和逼租给人民造成的苦难。最后,诗人用哀痛的笔调描述了战场上的悲惨现实。全诗运用口语非常突出,前人评说:“语杂歌谣,最易感人,愈浅愈切。”

注释:

[1]辚(lín)辚:雷声,比喻行车的声音。

[2]行人:指出征的士兵。

[3]耶:通假字,同“爷”,父亲。

[4]咸阳桥:唐代时期是长安通往西北的必经之路。

[5]干(ɡān):冲。

[6]边庭:边疆。

[7]荆杞(qǐ):荆棘、枸杞,带刺的野生灌木。

[8]陇(lǒnɡ)亩:田地。

Song of the Conscripts

Chariots rumble

And horses grumble.

The conscripts march with bow and arrows at the waist.

Their fathers, mothers, wives and children come in haste

To see them off; the bridge is shrouded in dust they’ve raised.

They clutch at their coats, stamp the feet and bar the way;

Their grief cries loud and strikes the cloud straight, straightaway.

An onlooker by roadside asks an enrollee.

“The conscription is frequent, ” only answers he.

Some went north at fifteen to guard the rivershore,

And were sent west to till the land at forty or more.

The elder bound their young heads when they went away;

Just home, they’re sent to the frontier though their hair’s gray.

The field on borderland becomes a sea of blood;

The emperor’s greed for land is still at high flood.

Have you not heard

Two hundred districts east of the Hua Mountains lie,

Where briers and brambles grow in villages far and nigh?

Although stout women can wield the plough and the hoe,

Thorns and weeds in the east as in the west o’ergrow.

The enemy are used to hard and stubborn fight;

Our men are driven just like dogs or fowls in flight.

“You are kind to ask me.

To complain I’m not free.

In winter of this year

Conscription goes on here.

The magistrates for taxes press.

How can we pay them in distress?

If we had known sons bring no joy,

We would have preferred girl to boy.

A daughter can be wed to a neighbor, alas!

A son can only be buried under the grass!”

Have you not seen

On borders green

Bleached bones since olden days unburied on the plain?

The old ghosts weep and cry, while the new ghosts complain;

The air is loud with screech and scream in gloomy rain.

 

《兵车行》是唐代大诗人杜甫创作的叙事诗。全诗以“道旁过者问行人”为界分为两段:首段摹写送别的惨状,是纪事;次段传达征夫的诉苦,是纪言。此诗具有深刻的思想内容,借征夫对老人的答话,倾诉了人民对战争的痛恨,揭露了唐玄宗长期以来的穷兵黩武,连年征战,给人民造成了巨大的灾难。全诗寓情于叙事之中,在叙述次序上参差错落前后呼应,变化开阖井然有序,并巧妙运用过渡句和习用词语,造成了回肠荡气的艺术效果。诗人自创乐府新题写时事,为中唐时期兴起的新乐府运动作出了开创性的贡献。

The poem is divided into two stanzas: the first stanza describes the tragic farewell and the second stanza conveys the plight of the conscripts. The poem is divided into two stanzas: the first stanza is a chronicle of the tragic farewell; the second stanza is a chronicle of the conscripts’ complaints. The poem has a profound ideological content. Through the words of the conqueror to the old man, the poem tells the people’s hatred of war and exposes the long-standing militarism of Emperor Tang Xuanzong, who has caused great disasters to the people through years of warfare. The entire poem is a narrative of emotions, with the narrative sequence echoing back and forth, and the changes in order, and the clever use of transitional lines and idiomatic words, resulting in an evocative artistic effect. The poet created a new theme of music to write about current events, making a pioneering contribution to the new music movement that emerged in the Middle Tang Dynasty.

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