Thursday, January 19, 2012

四面楚歌 Chu Folksongs heard from Everywhere

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秦朝灭亡以后, 刘邦领导的汉国的部队和项羽领导的楚国的部队, 为了争夺皇帝的位置, 打仗打了很长时间。公元前202年, 五千汉军在垓下这个地方包围了楚军, 而且切断了楚军的粮草来源。这时, 楚军只剩下了八百人。项羽让大家耐心等待援军。



好几天过去了, 援军还没有到来。为了动摇楚军的军心,在 一个又冷又黑的夜里, 刘邦命令他的战士唱起楚国的民歌, 一首又一首, 楚国的战士听到熟悉的歌声, 越来越想家,以为家乡已经被汉军占领。大家都感到绝望,惊慌。



项羽和他的爱妃虞姬也听到了这歌声, 十分伤心,不知道怎么办。两人在帐篷里喝酒,项羽要带虞姬 一起冲出去,但是虞姬不想拖累项羽。 为了安慰项羽, 虞姬最后一次为他表演剑舞。 舞完剑就自杀了。

第二天早上, 项羽带着剩下的人马,冲出汉军的包围.  来到乌江边的时候, 只剩下了项羽一个人和他的战马,后面追赶的汉军也马上要到了。江边只有一只渡船,船上的老人请项羽赶快上船渡江, 因为还有希望回到家乡组织部队重新打回来。

可是,项羽不肯过江,他对老人说:“跟我打仗的八千年轻人都已经战死了, 我没脸回去见他们的父母,家人。请您把我的战马带回家乡吧。” 最后,项羽为了不被汉军抓住, 在乌江边自杀了。



qin2chao2 mie4wang2 you3hou4, liu2bang1 ling3dao3 de han4guo2de bu4dui4 he2 xiang4yu3 ling3dao3de bu4dui4, wei4le zheng1duo2 huang2di4de wei4zhi4, da3zhang4 da3le hen3chang2 shi2jian1. gong1yuan2 qian2 202 nian2, wu3qian1 han4jun1 zai4 gai1xia4 zhe4ge di4fang bao1wei2le chu3jun1, er2qie3 qie1duan4le chu3jun1de liang2cao3 lai2yuan2. zhe4shi2, chu3jun1 zhi3 sheng4xia4le ba1bai3ren2. xiang4yu3 rang4 da4jia1 nai4xin1 deng3dai4 yuan2jun1.

hao3ji3tian1 guo4qu4le, yuan2jun1 hai2 mei2you3 dao4lai2. wei4le dong4yao2 chu3jun1de jun1xin1, zai4 yi1ge4 you4leng3 you4 hei1de ye4li3, liu2bang1 ming4ling4 ta1de zhan4shi4 chang4qi3 chu3guo2de ming2ge1, yi1shou3 you4 yi1shou3, chu3guo2de zhan4shi ting1dao4 shu2xide ge1sheng1, yue4lai2yue4 xiang3jia1, yi3wei2 jia1xiang1 yi3jing1 bei4 han4jun1 zhan4ling3. da4jia1 dou1 gan3dao4 jue2wang4, jing1huang1.

xiang4yu3 he2 ta1de ai4fei1 yu2ji1 ye3 ting1dao4le zhe4 ge1sheng1, shi2fen1 shang1xin1, bu4zhi1dao4 zen3meban4. liang3ren2 zai4 zhang4peng li3 ge1jiu3, xiang4yu3 yao4 dai4 yu2ji1 yi1qi3 chong1 chu1qu4, dan4shi4 yu2ji1 bu4xiang3 tuo1lei4 xiang4yu3. wei4le an1wei4 xiang4yu3, yu2ji1 zui4hou4 yi1ci4 wei4 ta1 biao3yan3 jian4 wu3. wu3wan2jian4 ta1 jiu4 zi4sha1le.
di4er4tian1  zao3shang,   xiang4yu3   dai4zhe   sheng4xia4de   ren2ma3,  chong1chu1   han4jun1de  bao1wei2. lai2dao4   wu1jiang1  deshi2hou,  zhi3  sheng4xia4le  xiang4yu3  yi1ge4ren2  he2  ta1de   zhan4ma3,  hou4mian4  zhui1gan3de  han4jun1  ye3  ma3shang4  yao4  dao4le.  jiang1bian1  zhi3  you3  yi1zhi1  du4chuan2,  chuan2shang4de  lao3ren2  qing3  xiang4yu3  gan3kuai4  shang4chuan2  du4jiang1,  yin1wei4   hai2you3  xi1wang4  hui2dao4   jia1xiang1   zu3zhi1   bu4dui4   chong2xin1   da3  hui2lai2.

ke3shi4,  xiang4yu3   bu4ken3  guo4jiang1, ta1  dui4  lao3ren2  shuo1:"gen1  wo3  da3zhang4de  ba1qian1  nian2qing1 ren2  dou1   yi3jing1  zhan4si3le,  wo3  mei2lian3  hui2qu4  jian4  ta1men  de  fu4mu3,  jia1ren2.  qing3 ni3   ba3  wo3de  zhan4ma3   dai4hui2  jia1xiang1 ba."  zui4hou4,  xiang4yu3  wei4le  bu2 bei4  han4jun1  zhua1zhu4,  zai4  wu1jiang1bian1  zi4sha1le.


Translation:

 After the Qin Dynasty’s (221 - 206 BC) downfall, the troops of State of Chu led by Liu Bang and the troops of State of Han  by Xiang Yu fought for a long time  for the emperor's throne.  In 202 B.C, five thousand Han soldiers trapped the Chu forces at the place Gai Xia, and also blocked Chu's supplies. At the time, only eight hundred Chu soldiers were left.  Xiang Yu asked them to wait patiently for the reinforcement.


Many days had passed, but the reinforcement had not arrived, yet.  On a cold dark night,  in order to lower the morale of Chu soldiers, Liu Bang ordered his soldiers to sing folk songs from the Chu State, one song after another. The Chu soldiers heard the familiar songs, and became more and more homesick. They thought their homeland had already been occupied by the Han troops. Everyone was desperate and panicked.

Xiang Yu and his favourite concubine also heard the songs, and were very sad. They didn't know what to do.  They drank in the tent. Xiang Yu wanted to break through the encirclement  together with Yu Ji. But Yu Ji didn't want to be a burden to Xiang Yu (in the escape.) To console him, Yu Ji performed a sword dance for Xiang Yu for the last time. After the dance, she committed suicide.

The next morning, Xiang Yu led the leftover troops, and broke through encirclement of the Han troops. When arriving at the side of Wu River, Xiang Yu was left  alone plus his fighting horse.
The chasing Han soldiers were about to arrive, too. There was only one ferry boat by the river. The old man on the boat urged Xiang Yu to get on the boat  to cross the river, because there still was hope that Xian Yu could recruit soldiers back at home and fight back all over again.

However, Xiang Yu declined the offer. He said to the old man,"all the eight thousand young men who fought with me  have died in the battles. I'm too ashamed to go back to meet their parents and family members. Would you please take my fighting horse back to my homeland?"  In the end, Xiang Yu didn't want to be caught by the Han soldiers, so he committed suicide, too.

Comments:
The idiom of "Chu Songs On Four Sides" comes from this story. It refers to being in a hopeless and critical situation.

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