At evening, autumn forests resound
With deadly weapons across the golden plains
And blue lakes, while overhead the sun
Rolls on more darkly. Night embraces
The dying warriors and the wild lament 5
Of their mangled mouths.
Yet silently in the pastureland,
Red clouds inhabited by an angry god
Gather shed blood, lunar coldness.
All roads lead to black decay. 10
Under the golden bough of night and stars
The sister’s shadow sways through the silent grove
To greet the ghosts of heroes, the bleeding heads;
And in the reeds dark flutes of autumn softly sound.
O nobler grief!--you brazen altars, 15
Today a great pain feeds the hot flame of the mind,
The unborn grandchildren.
Translated by John Cobley