To Son

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To Son (示兒/示儿)
Lu You (陸游/陆游), translated by Wikipedia "Lu You" editors, March 2008 edition.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lu_You

This poem was composed by him when he was about to die.

What this poem means is that he doesn't mind not being able to take anything with him when he dies (死去原知万事空), but he is upset to see that China is not united as a nation (但悲不见九州同). He is telling his son that if this day ever comes (王师北定中原日), his family must not forget to go to his grave and tell him there (家祭无忘告乃翁。).


"To Son", by Lu You

Simplified:

死去原知万事空,

但悲不见九州同。

王师北定中原日,

家祭无忘告乃翁。


Traditional:

死去原知萬事空,

但悲不見九州同。

王師北定中原日,

家祭無忘告乃翁。

English:

All turns to dust in my dying eyes,

only hatred is that a unified land is not seen.

When the day of the emperor's troops sweeping the North comes,

you must not forget to tell me before my tombstone.

This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.
Original:
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.
 
Translation:
This work is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license, which allows free use, distribution, and creation of derivatives, so long as the license is unchanged and clearly noted, and the original author is attributed.