Yang Jiong Poem: I Would Rather Fight – 杨炯《从军行》

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从军行[1]

杨炯

烽火[2]照西京,

心中自不平[3]

牙璋辞凤阙[4]

铁骑绕龙城[5]

雪暗凋旗画[6]

风多杂鼓声。

宁为百夫长[7]

胜作一书生。

注释:

[1] 从军行:乐府旧题,属《相和歌辞·平调曲》,题材大多为边塞军旅战争。

[2] 烽火:古代边防报警的信号。

[3] 不平:难以平静。

[4] “牙璋”句:牙璋,调兵的符牒。两块合成,朝廷和主帅各执其半,嵌合处呈齿状,故名。这里指代奉命出征的将帅。凤阙,汉武帝所建的建章宫上有铜凤,故称凤阙。后来常用做帝王官阙的泛称。

[5] “铁骑”句:铁骑,精锐的骑兵,指唐军。绕,围。龙城,汉时匈奴大会祭天之处,故址在今蒙古国鄂尔浑河东侧。这里泛指敌方要塞、据点。

[6] “雪暗”句:大雪弥漫,落满军旗,使旗帜上的图案黯淡失色。凋,原意是草木枯败凋零,此指失去了鲜艳的色彩。

[7] 百夫长:周朝兵制以百人为一队,队长称“百夫长”。后世泛指下级武官。

I Would Rather Fight

Yang Jiong

The beacon fires spread to the capital;

My agitated mind can’t be calmed down.

By royal order to leave palace hall;

Our armored steeds besiege the Dragon Town.

Darkening snow damages our banners red;

With the howling wind mingle our drumbeats.

I’d rather fight at a hundred men’s head

Than pore over books without performing feats.

The poet would rather fight than write.

《从军行》是唐代诗人杨炯的诗作。此诗借用乐府旧题“从军行”,描写一个读书士子从军边塞、参加战斗的全过程。前两句写边报传来,激起了志士的爱国热情;第三四句描写了军队辞京后的出战;第五六句通过景物描写烘托激烈的战斗场面;最后两句直接抒发从戎书生保边卫国的壮志豪情。全诗虽仅四十字,但既揭示出人物的心理活动,又渲染了环境气氛,笔力极其雄劲,同时对仗工整,使诗更有节奏和气势。

The poem “I Would Rather Fight” is a poem by Yang Jiong, a poet of the Tang Dynasty. The poem borrows the old title of “From the Army” and describes the whole process of a scholar’s journey from the army to the frontier and the battle. The first two lines describe the arrival of the border report, which arouses the patriotic enthusiasm of the scholar; the third four lines describe the army’s departure from the capital; the fifth six lines set up the fierce battle scene by describing the scenery; the last two lines directly express the scholar’s ambition to protect the country. Although the poem is only forty words long, it not only reveals the psychological activities of the characters, but also renders the atmosphere of the environment.

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