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The Book of Songs 詩經

國風‧邶‧擊鼓 Lessons from the states - Odes of Bei - Ji Gu

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Hear the roll of our drums!
See how we leap about, using our weapons!
Those do the fieldwork in the State, or fortify Cao,
While we alone march to the south.


We followed Sun Zizhong,
Peace having been made with Chen and Song;
[But] he did not lead us back,
And our sorrowful hearts are very sad.


Here we stay, here we stop;
Here we lose our horses;
And we seek for them,
Among the trees of the forest.


For life or for death, however separated,
To our wives we pledged our word.
We held their hands; -
We were to grow old together with them.

Alas for our separation!
We have no prospect of life.
Alas for our stipulation!
We cannot make it good.


English translation: James Legge

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