Li Bai: Airs of Ancientry No.14 "Lament of the Empire's Conscript" (From Chinese)

Airs of Ancientry No.14 – Lament of the Empire's Conscript   
By Lǐ Bái
Translated by A.Z. Foreman
Click to hear me recite the original in a reconstructed Medieval Chang'anese pronunciation

At the border post ablast with sand
And grim with wind since god knows when 
Where leaves are felled on fall-tawned grass
From my tower I eye enemy terrain,
See weed-choked forts in wasteland abandoned,
The marchland towns where not a wall remains,
The whitebleached bones a thousand frosts have weathered
The jumbled barrows that brushwood invades.
Who was it brought this brute havoc?
Vaunting Northmen moved with violent bane,
So flamed with anger our emperor
Bade army-drums beat for a war.
His spring-gentle mind turned murderous weather, 
He sent out the troops and turmoiled the state
With three hundred  sixty thousand men
Now it's sorrow and tears of sorrow like rain.
It grieved us but no they make us go.
Can we work our farms in these wild acres? 
Till you've seen the boys serving at the border,
You don't grasp the pain  of a borderland gate. 
Today Commander  Li Mu is no more.
Frontier boys are just  jackal prey.


The Original: 


古風其十四
李白

胡關饒風沙,
蕭索竟終古。
木落秋草黃,
登高望戎虜。
荒城空大漠,
邊邑無遺
白骨橫千霜,
嵯峨蔽榛莽。
借問誰凌虐,
天驕毒威武。
赫怒我聖皇,
勞師事鼙鼓。
陽和變殺氣,
發卒騷中土。
三十六萬人,
哀哀淚如雨。
且悲就行役,
安得營農圃。
不見征戍兒,
豈知關山苦。
李牧今不在,
邊人飼豺虎。

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