Spring in the Garden of Qin-written in the Temples of Their Excellencies Zhang Xun and Xu Yuan
- Poetry of Wen Tianxiang


- Last updated: 2023-12-12 23:10:58

Spring in the Garden of Qin-written in the Temples of Their Excellencies Zhang Xun and Xu Yuan by Wen Tianxiang









English Translation

If sons should die for filial piety 

And ministers for loyalty,

What matters for us to be dead?

Our sacred land is torn to shred,

No patriot could feel at ease,

No Loyal.subject has done what he ought to do 

What could my righteous wrath appease?

Zhang Xun whom the rebels could not subdue 

And Xu Yuan were loyal to the crown,

They have left an undying renown.

Those who come after them would feel 

The lack of their own loyal zeal

And like them should be hardened into steel.

Life will soon pass away like a flickering flame,

A man should work,come shine or rain,

With all his might and main.

If they had fallen to the foe,

They would have borne the blame

And down in history ne'er their names could go.

Their temple gloomy at the forest's side,

Their statues awe-inspiring,dignified.

How many times have they been worshipped with cold crows 

And ancient trees and setting sun which downwards goes!

Should a traitor pass by

This post-house,let him open wide his eye!

This lyric was written at Chaoyang when the poet passed by the Temple of General Zhang Xun and Governor Xu Yuan of the Tang Dynasty,who would not submit the city to the besieging rebels and sacrificed their lives after the fall of the city.

Why Chinese poems is so special?
The most distinctive features of Chinese poetry are: concision- many poems are only four lines, and few are much longer than eight; ambiguity- number, tense and parts of speech are often undetermined, creating particularly rich interpretative possibilities; and structure- most poems follow quite strict formal patterns which have beauty in themselves as well as highlighting meaningful contrasts.
How to read a Chinese poem?
Like an English poem, but more so. Everything is there for a reason, so try to find that reason. Think about all the possible connotations, and be aware of the different possibilities of number and tense. Look for contrasts: within lines, between the lines of each couplet and between successive couplets. Above all, don't worry about what the poet meant- find your meaning.

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