List to the thunder and roll of the drum!
See how we spring and brandish the dart!
Some raise Ts'aou's walls; some do field work at home;
But we to the southward lonely depart.
Our chief, Sun Tsze-chung, agreement has made,
Our forces to join with Ch'in and with Sung.
When shall we back from this service be led?
Our hearts are all sad, our courage unstrung.
Here we are halting, and there we delay;
Anon we soon lose our high-mettled steeds.
The forest's gloom makes our steps go astray;
Each thicket of trees our searching misleads.
For death as for life, at home or abroad,
We pledged to our wives our faithfulest word.
Their hands clasped in ours, together we vowed,
We'd live to old age in sweetest accord.
This march to the South can end but in ill;
Oh! never shall we our wives again meet.
The word that we pledged we cannot fulfil;
Us home returning they never will greet.
Last updated January 14, 2019