At Fifteen I Joined the Army on Expedition
|At Fifteen I Joined the Army on Expedition
by , translated by Wikisource
|This Han dynasty anti-war ballad was collected by Guo Maoqian into an eleventh century anthology of yuefu. Stylistically, it is more likely to have originated in the Eastern Han (CE 25-220).
Translated from "Shiwu cong jun zheng" (十五從軍征) by Jack Yuan (2006).
- At fifteen I joined the army on expedition,
- Only at eighty did I finally return.
- On the way I met a villager:
- "Who is left in my home?"
- "See there in the distance is your home,
- Among the pine, cypress, and graves piled high."
- Rabbits enter through the dog hole,
- Pheasants fly from the rafters.
- In the parlour grows wild grain,
- Upon the well grows wild vegetables.
- I grind the grain for a meal,
- I pick the vegetables for the broth.
- Meal and broth are ready in an instant,
- But I know not whom to serve.
- As I step out and look east,
- Falling tears soak my clothes.