Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LAMENT OF THE FRONTIER GUARD, by LI PO



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LAMENT OF THE FRONTIER GUARD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: By the north gate, the wind blows full of sand
Last Line: And we guardsmen fed to the tigers.
Alternate Author Name(s): Rihaku; Li Pai; Li Tai Pe; Li Bo; Li Bai
Subject(s): War


By the North Gate, the wind blows full of sand,
Lonely from the beginning of time until now!
Trees fall, the grass goes yellow with autumn.
I climb the towers and towers
to watch out the barbarous land:
Desolate castle, the sky, the wide desert.
There is no wall left to this village.
Bones white with a thousand frosts,
High heaps, covered with trees and grass;
Who brought this to pass?
Who has brought the flaming imperial anger?
Who has brought the army with drums and with kettle-drums?
Barbarous kings.
A gracious spring, turned to blood-ravenous autumn,
A turmoil of wars-men, spread over the middle kingdom,
Three hundred and sixty thousand,
And sorrow, sorrow like rain.
Sorrow to go, and sorrow, sorrow returning.
Desolate, desolate fields,
And no children of warfare upon them,
No longer the men for offence and defence.
Ah, how shall you know the dreary sorrow at the North Gate,
With Riboku's name forgotten,
And we guardsmen fed to the tigers.





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