Li Bai Poem

Reflections on the Ancient Battlefield at Guangwu

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The Emperor of Qin had lost his deer,
And heroes chased it as thistle-down flies.
The Prince of Chu was brave without a peer,
With purple flashes in double-pupiled eyes.
He called eight thousand Southern youths to fight,
From eastern River shore they swept the foes.
The Duke of Han had killed the Serpent white,
And breaking through the Pass, his war cries rose.
Two rival Dragons reigned not at same time,
And five propitious stars appeared on high.
Chu perished for lack of ideal sublime;
The Duke expanded his realm beneath the sky.
He cleared eight borders with the sword he did wield,
And came back drunk and sang The Great Wind Song’
His army once came to this battlefield,
And fought the Prince to see who was the strong.
His father, captured, would be boiled alive,
“My father’s yours,” he said, “in weal and woe.”
Of ancient war few relics still survive,
The ramparts crumble to mounds high and low.
Fierce growling tigers fill the caves with dismay,
And hungry eagles cleave the autumn sky.
The morning clouds still make a battle array,
And war cries seem to pelt the rainbow on high.
To end disorder is the deed of sage.
Pedantic scholar, how dare you declare
Drunken, the Duke was fellow of village?
You’re mad and frenzy, unjust and unfair.
I clap my hands in view of this battleground,
And laugh away your ignorance profound.

Parting from My Children at Nanling for the Capital
Ascending the Snow-White Peak


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