So spoke Li Ru, and the words pleased Dong Zhuo mightily.
So the next day Dong Zhuo spread a feast and invited many
guests. As all the officers went in terror of him, no one
dared be absent. Dong Zhuo himself rode up to the garden
last of all and took his place with his sword girded on.
When the wine had gone round several times,
Dong Zhuo stopped the service and the music and began to speak.
“I have something to say. Listen quietly all of you！”
All turned towards him.
“the emperor is lord of all.
If he lacks dignity and behaves in an
unseemly manner, he is no fitting inheritor
of the ancestral prerogatives. He who is now on
the throne is a weakling, inferior to the Prince of Chenliu in
intelligence and love of learning. The Prince is in every way
fitted for the throne. I desire to depose the
Emperor and set up the Prince in his place. What think you？”
the assembly listened in perfect silence,
none daring at first to utter a word of dissent.
But one dared； for suddenly a guest stood up
in his place, smote the table and cried.
“No！ No！ Who are you that you dare utter such bold words？
the Emperor is son of the late Emperor and has done no wrong.
Why then should he be deposed？ Are you a rebel？”
the speaker was Ding Yuan, Imperial Protector of Bingzhou.
Dong Zhuo glared at Ding Yuan, roaring,
“there is life for those who are with me,
death for those against！”
Dong Zhuo drew his sword and made for the
objector. But the watchful Li Ru had noticed
Yuan Shu bade his soldiers scatter and seek out all
the families of the eunuchs, sparing none.
In that slaughter many beardless men were killed in error.
Cao Cao set himself to extinguish the fires.
He then begged Empress He to undertake the
direction of affairs, and soldiers were sent to
pursue Zhang Rang and rescue the young
Emperor and the young Prince of Chenliu.
Meanwhile, Zhang Rang and Duan Gui had
hustled away the Emperor and the Prince.
They burst through the smoke and fire and traveled
without stopping till they reached the Beimang Hills.
It was then the third watch. They heard a
GREat shouting behind them and saw soldiers in
pursuit. Their leader, Min Gong, a commander in
Henan, was shouting, “Traitors, stop, stop！”
Zhang Rang, seeing that he was lost,
jumped into the river, where he was drowned.
the two boys ignorant of the meaning of all
this confusion and terrified out of their senses,
dared not utter a cry. They crept in among the rank
grass on the river bank and hid.
The soldiers scattered in all directions but f
ailed to find them. So they remained till the
fourth watch, shivering with cold from the
drenching dew and very hungry.
They lay down in the thick grass and
wept in each other’s arms, silently,
lest anyone should discover them.
“This is no a place to stay in,”
said Prince Xian. “We must find some way out.”
So the two children knotted their clothes
together and managed to crawl up the bank.
They were in a thicket of thorn bushes, and it was
quite dark. They could not see any path. They were
in despair when, all at once, millions
of fireflies sprang up all about them and circled
in the air in front of the Emperor.
“God is helping us,” said Prince Xian.
they followed whither the fireflies
led and gradually got into a road. They walked
till their feet were too sore to go further,
when, seeing a heap of straw near the road,
they crept to it and lay down.
This heap of straw was close to a farm house.
In the night, as the farmer was sleeping, he saw
in a vision two bright red suns drop behind his
dwelling. Alarmed by the portent, he hastily
Hearing these things Zhu Jun
pressed harder yet upon Yangcheng, and the
approaching break-up of the rebellion became evident. Then one of Zhang Ba’s
officers, Yan Zheng, killed his leader and brought the head in token of submission.
Thus rebellion in that part of the country was stamped out, and Zhu Jun made
his report to the government.
However, the embers of the Yellow Scarves still smoldered. Three other rebels,
Zhao Hong, Han Zhong, and Sun Zhong, gathered some thirty thousand rebels
and began to murder and rob and burn, calling themselves the avengers of Master Zhang Jue.
The court commanded the successful Zhu Jun to lead his veteran and successful
troops to destroy the rebels. He at once marched toward the city of Wancheng
which the rebels were holding. When Zhu Jun arrived, Han Zhong went to
oppose him. Zhu Jun sent Liu Bei and his brothers to attack the southwest
corner of the city. Han Zhong at once led the best of his troops to defend
the city. Meanwhile Zhu Jun himself led two thousand of armored horsemen
to attack the opposite corner. The rebels, thinking the city being lost, abandoned
the southwest and turned back into the city to help the defenders. Liu Bei pressed
hotly in their rear, and they were utterly routed. They took refuge in the city which
was then invested. When famine pressed upon the besieged, they sent a messenger
to offer to surrender, but Zhu Jun refused the offer.
Said Liu Bei to Zhu Jun, “Seeing that the founder of the Han Dynasty, Liu Bang the
Supreme Ancestor, could welcome the submissive and receive the favorable, why reject these?”
“The conditions are different,” replied Zhu Jun. “In those old days disorder was
universal and the people had no fixed lord*. Wherefore submission was welcomed
and support rewarded to encourage people to come over. Now the empire is united,
and the Yellow Scarves are the only malcontents. To receive their surrender is not to
encourage the good. To allow brigands, when successful, is to give way to every
license, and to let them surrender when they fail is to encourage brigandage.
Your plan is not a good one.”
Liu Bei replied, “Not to let brigands surrender is well. But the city is
surrounded as by an iron barrel. If the rebels’ request be refused, they will be
desperate and fight to the death, and we can hardly withstood a myriad of such
Lu Zhi explained,
“I had surrounded the rebels and was on the point of smashing them, when Zhang
Jue employed some of his supernatural powers and prevented my victory. The court sent down Eunuch
Zhuo Feng to inquire into my failure, and that official demanded a bribe. I told him how hard pressed we
were and asked him where, in the circumstances, I could find a gift for him. He went away in wrath and
reported that I was hiding behind my ramparts and would not give battle and that I disheartened my army.
So I was superseded by Dong Zhuo, and I have to go to the capital to answer the charge.”
This story put Zhang Fei into a rage. He was for slaying the escort and setting free Lu Zhi. But Liu Bei checked him.
“the government will take the due course,” said Liu Bei. “You must not act hastily！”
And the escort and the three brothers went two ways.
It was useless to continue on that road to Guangzong, so Guan Yu proposed to go back to Zhuo, and they retook the road.
Two days later they heard the thunder of battle behind some hills. Hastening to the top, they beheld the government soldiers
suffering GREat loss, and they saw the countryside was full of Yellow Scarves. On the rebels’ banners were the words Zhang Jue the Lord of Heaven written large.
“We will attack this Zhang Jue！” said Liu Bei to his brothers, and they galloped out to join in the battle.
Zhang Jue had worsted Dong Zhuo and was following up his advantage. He was in hot pursuit when the three brothers dashed
into his army, threw his ranks into confusion, and drove him back fifteen miles. Then the brothers returned with the rescued general to his camp.
“What offices have you？” asked Dong Zhuo, when he had leisure to speak to the brothers.
“None,” replied they.
“We have just rescued this menial in a bloody fight,” cried Zhang Fei, “and now he is rude to us！ Nothing but his death can slake my anger.”
And of even this bright flame of love,
TO ONE UNNAMED II
A misty rain comes blowing with a wind from the east,
And wheels faintly thunder beyond Hibiscus Pool.
…Round the golden-toad lock, incense is creeping;
The jade tiger tells, on its cord, of water being drawn
A great lady once, from behind a screen, favoured a poor youth;
A fairy queen brought a bridal mat once for the ease of a prince and then vanished.
…Must human hearts blossom in spring, like all other flowers?
And of even this bright flame of love, shall there be only ashes?
IN THE CAMP OF THE SKETCHING BRUSH
Monkeys and birds are still alert for your orders
And winds and clouds eager to shield your fortress.
…You were master of the brush, and a sagacious general,
But your Emperor, defeated, rode the prison-cart.
You were abler than even the greatest Zhou statesmen,
Yet less fortunate than the two Shu generals who were killed in action.
And, though at your birth-place a temple has been built to you,
You never finished singing your Song of the Holy Mountain
TO ONE UNNAMED III
Time was long before I met her, but is longer since we parted,
And the east wind has arisen and a hundred flowers are gone,
And the silk-worms of spring will weave until they die
And every night the candles will weep their wicks away.
Mornings in her mirror she sees her hair-cloud changing,
Yet she dares the chill of moonlight with her evening song.
…It is not so very far to her Enchanted Mountain
O blue-birds, be listening!-Bring me what she says!
I am lying in a white-lined coat while the spring approaches,
But am thinking only of the White Gate City where I cannot be.
…There are two red chambers fronting the cold, hidden by the rain,
And a lantern on a pearl screen swaying my lone heart homeward.
…The long road ahead will be full of new hardship,
With, late in the nights, brief intervals of dream.
Oh, to send you this message, this pair of jade earrings! —
I watch a lonely wildgoose in three thousand miles of cloud.
I face my mirror with a sigh
A SOLITARY WILDGOOSE
Line after line has flown back over the border.
Where are you headed all by yourself?
In the evening rain you call to them —
And slowly you alight on an icy pond.
The low wet clouds move faster than you
Along the wall toward the cold moon.
…If they caught you in a net or with a shot,
Would it be worse than flying alone?
A SIGH IN THE SPRING PALACE
Knowing beauty my misfortune,
I face my mirror with a sigh.
To please a fastidious emperor,
How shall I array myself?….
Birds flock and sing when the wind is warm,
Flower-shadows climb when the sun is high —
And year after year girls in the south
Are picking hibiscus, dreaming of love!
A NIGHT THOUGHT ON TERRACE TOWER
Far through the night a harp is sighing
With a sadness of wind and rain in the strings….
There’s a solitary lantern, a bugle-call —
And beyond Terrace Tower down goes the moon.
…Fragrant grasses have changed and faded
While still I have been hoping that my old friend would come….
There are no more messengers I can send him,
Now that the wildgeese have turned south.
NOT FINDING LU HONGXIAN AT HOME
To find you, moved beyond the city,
A wide path led me, by mulberry and hemp,
To a new-set hedge of chrysanthemums —
Not yet blooming although autumn had come.
…I knocked; no answer, not even a dog.
I waited to ask your western neighbour;
But he told me that daily you climb the mountain,
Never returning until sunset.
THE YELLOW CRANE TERRACE
Where long ago a yellow crane bore a sage to heaven,
Nothing is left now but the Yellow Crane Terrace.
The yellow crane never revisited earth,
And white clouds are flying without him for ever.
…Every tree in Hanyang becomes clear in the water,
And Parrot Island is a nest of sweet grasses;
But I look toward home, and twilight grows dark
With a mist of grief on the river waves.
To live as pure a life as yours
Pure of heart and therefore hungry,
All night long you have sung in vain —
Oh, this final broken indrawn breath
Among the green indifferent trees!
Yes, I have gone like a piece of driftwood,
I have let my garden fill with weeds….
I bless you for your true advice
To live as pure a life as yours.
WIND AND RAIN
I ponder on the poem of The Precious Dagger.
My road has wound through many years.
…Now yellow leaves are shaken with a gale;
Yet piping and fiddling keep the Blue Houses merry.
On the surface, I seem to be glad of new people;
But doomed to leave old friends behind me,
I cry out from my heart for Xinfeng wine
To melt away my thousand woes.
Gone is the guest from the Chamber of Rank,
And petals, confused in my little garden,
Zigzagging down my crooked path,
Escort like dancers the setting sun.
Oh, how can I bear to sweep them away?
To a sad-eyed watcher they never return.
Heart’s fragrance is spent with the ending of spring
And nothing left but a tear-stained robe.
THOUGHTS IN THE COLD
You are gone. The river is high at my door.
Cicadas are mute on dew-laden boughs.
This is a moment when thoughts enter deep.
I stand alone for a long while.
…The North Star is nearer to me now than spring,
And couriers from your southland never arrive —
Yet I doubt my dream on the far horizon
That you have found another friend.
NORTH AMONG GREEN VINES
Where the sun has entered the western hills,
I look for a monk in his little straw hut;
But only the fallen leaves are at home,
And I turn through chilling levels of cloud
I hear a stone gong in the dusk,
I lean full-weight on my slender staff
How within this world, within this grain of dust,
Can there be any room for the passions of men?
TO A FRIEND BOUND EAST
The old fort brims with yellow leaves….
You insist upon forsaking this place where you have lived.
A high wind blows at Hanyang Ferry
And sunrise lights the summit of Yingmen….
Who will be left for me along the upper Yangzi
After your solitary skiff has entered the end of the sky?
I ask you over and over when we shall meet again,
While we soften with winecups this ache of farewell.