A String of Bright Beacon Fires

We present this work in honor of China’s National Day.

Yang Jiong
650 – c. 695


A String of bright beacon fires lights up the Capital;
My blood’s boiling, my heart’s crying out for battle!
Leaving Changan with royal warrant hastily,
Armoured cavalries aim to besiege the enemy city.

Painted banners are dimmed by the heavy snows pelting,
Thundering war drums are heard amidst the gusts howling.
O, To be a fighting centurion I’d be most willing,
Rather than a verse-reciting scholarly weakling!

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