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Chinese poem illustration: 十五从军征 Enrolled in the Army at 15 by Anonymous


十五从军征

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A simple plain straightforward narrative folk poem in Han dynasty. It was believed to be created in the 汉武帝(AD157-AD87) period, when Han dynasty in its utmost glory. This folk poem definitely is one of the most popular folk songs on this topic, and was collected by the official Musical Department (乐府), and music was written per this folk poem Thus we can have this poem till today. The musical part was lost due to the changes of dynasty, just like the Music for the Book of The Songs was lost before Han dynasty.

This masterpiece looks straightforward and extremely simple at first glance, the words almost has no difficulty to today’s Chinese. When you read more over, or review it when you aged, the strong sorrow and sadness shows up a bit by a bit, finally overwhelming.

No surprise, a poem written based on 80 years lifetime and many deaths , a very familiar situation for Han people, anyone have been through wars, anyone parted from their dearest would make you weeping silently.

阿(e1) is interpreted with Shaanxi dialect.

十五从军征
佚名

十五从军征,八十始得归。
道逢乡里人,家中有阿谁?
遥看是君家,松柏冢累累。
兔从狗窦入,雉从梁上飞。
中庭生旅谷,井上生旅葵。
舂谷持作饭,采葵持作羹。
羹饭一时熟,不知贻阿谁?
出门东向望,泪落沾我衣。

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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