Wang Changling Poem: Poems on Army Life (Ⅴ) – 王昌龄《从军行(其五)》

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从军行(其五)

王昌龄

大漠[1]风尘日色昏,

红旗半卷出辕门[2]

前军夜战洮河[3]北,

已报生擒吐谷浑[4]

注释:

[1] 大漠:此泛指西北沙漠,非确指某处之沙漠。

[2] 辕门:军营的大门。古代行军扎营时,一般用车环卫,出口处把两车的车辕相对竖起,对立如门。

[3] 洮河:黄河上游支流,在甘肃省甘南藏族自治州境内,源出甘青两省边界西倾山东麓,东流到岷县折向北,经临洮县到永靖县城附近入黄河。长五百余公里。

[4] 吐谷浑:晋代鲜卑族慕容氏的后裔,唐前期据有青海洮水西南等处,地势险要,唐朝三次征讨均无功而返。后李靖挂帅,一改先前正面进攻的策略,几十万唐军从青海甘肃交界的狭窄小路穿越,从吐谷浑身后发起攻击,一举歼灭吐谷浑。一说王昌龄此诗即记此次大捷:一说此诗非实写,此处吐谷浑乃只借指边境之敌而已。考察此次战役发生在唐太宗时期,而王昌龄生活在武后、玄宗时期,所以后说为当。

Poems on Army Life (Ⅴ)

Wang Changling

The wind and sand in the desert have dimmed sunlight;

With red flags half unfurled we go through the camp gate.

North of River Tao, after nocturnal fight,

Our vanguards have captured the chief of hostile State.

The poet describes the victory won by the army after one battle at night.

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