Cao Cao

Hao Li Xing - Poem by Cao Cao

Gallant men there were, from the Eastern lands,
rallying against the nefarious ones.
At Mengjin, where the last Alliance met,
they vowed
to free the Capital from the evil shroud.

Though their forces were one, their minds
divided; hesitant they marched
like geese leaderless.
And not long after,
they fought
among themselves; for profit they sought.

The younger Yuan himself an emperor made,
In the north the other carved a seal of jade.

When last did armour leave the soldiers' frames?
Lice and fleas infest the long-worn metal.
From a myriad families people are lost
to untimely death, while
sun-blanched bones lie bare in fields
abandoned, nor a cock-crow heard for a thousand li.
Of a hundred men who live here now,
would even one be left
by the morrow?
That very thought breaks my heart with sorrow.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012

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