Du Fu

(712 - 770 / Henan Province / China)

Ballad Of The Press-Gang At Shihao Village


One evening I found lodging in a village where
A press-gang stole by night to seize my aging host,
Who, hearing them, scaled the wall and hid nearby.
Furious, the bailiff bellowed at the gate
Until the woman of the house unbarred the door,
Stepped out, and offered up this pitiful reply:
“Three boys I nursed and raised and, on the selfsame day,
Saw them sent off to the garrison at Yeh.
My oldest boy, he sent a letter by and by
To say the other two were lying in their graves
And he himself was living but a stolen life—
‘O Mother dear, how short we live, how long we die!’
And now there’s not another male under my roof
Besides this man-child nursing at his mother’s breast.
That you could find some use for her I’ll not deny,
But as you see she hardly has a stitch to wear,
And there’s the child to think of—so why not think on this?
Granted I am old and gray yet I am spry
Enough to keep up with the other conscripts, and
I know I’ve strength to serve the men their morning meals.”
With that the voices died, though now and then a cry
Or plaintive sob choked off the silence of the night.
At break of day, when I continued on my way,
No one was left but that old man to say goodbye.

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010
Edited: Monday, May 09, 2011

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Ballad Of The Press-Gang At Shihao Village by Du Fu )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Jadavpur Universiy Campus Turf, Romeo An.., Bijay Kant Dubey
  2. Let Me Display Your Pennant , Jonathan ROBIN
  3. UNTIL THEN, TIJANI ADEBOWALE DESTINY
  4. Life is a chasing game,, Aftab Alam
  5. The midnight scream, Harold R Hunt Sr
  6. It calls your name., Harold R Hunt Sr
  7. Dogs, Cinzia Wills
  8. Interminable Wanderer, Cinzia Wills
  9. The Sky, Harold R Hunt Sr
  10. That part of your heart, Rolfy Dsilva

Poem of the Day

poet Sir John Suckling

Dost see how unregarded now
That piece of beauty passes?
There was a time when I did vow
To that alone;
But mark the fate of faces;
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Elizabeth Bishop

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  2. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  5. On the Ning Nang Nong, Spike Milligan
  6. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  7. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  8. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  10. Sonnet I, Sir John Suckling

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]