The River All Red Yuefei
Wrath sets on end my hair;
I lean on railings where I see the drizzling rain has ceased.
Raising my eyes, Towards the skies,
I heave long sighs,
My wrath not yet appeased.
To dust is gone the fame achieved in thirty years;
Like cloud-veiled moon the thousand-mile Plain disappears.
Should youthful heads in vain turn grey,
We would regret for aye.
Lost our capitals,
What a burning shame!
How can we generals,
Quench our vengeful flame!
Driving our chariots of war, we’d go,
To break through our relentless foe.
Valiantly we’d cut off each head;
Laughing, we’d drink the blood they shed.
When we’ve reconquered our lost land.
In triumph would return our army grand.
Manjianghong Yue Fei
My hair bristling with ire. I grimace in pain –
My grip on a rail, at a lull in a rain.
Eyes skyward turned. I make a desperate roar.
My inner self agitated to the core.
Battling hard and long – under moon or sun.
Up to thirty, few merits have I won.
Tarry not, to see youthful hair turning white;
Regret in vain, when old, one’s pitiful sight.
Not yet avenged for the shame of Jingkang*,
My feelings about the defeat are strong.
I’d ride on a chariot as a he-man,
And make a break through the gap at Helanshan. **
I could feed on the Hun’s flesh, forsooth,
In hunger – in the spirit of youth.
I could drink the Hun’s blood in a jovial mood;
If I were thirsty enough, indeed, I would.
Let’s start anew: regain land that was our own;
With triumph, present ourselves before the Throne.
* Jingkang: the reign of Emperor Qinzong of the Northern Song Dynasty (1126-1127), who was captured by the enemy in 1127.
** Helanshan: a mountain in today’s Cixian County, Hebei Province.