The undulation of mountains that stretch endlessly beneath the feet, rivers and grasslands,
The densely located villages which are innumerable, cock crowing and dog barking,
Connected to the Asian land which is originally desolate,
The dry wind is blowing across the vastness of wild grass,
The east-flowing water is singing monotonously under the low hanging murky clouds,
And countless ages and years are buried in the somber forest.
They embrace me silently:
Countless stories are countless miseries, and what is taciturn
Is love, is the flock of hawks soaring in the sky,
And is the hot tears surging like a spring which is expected by dried and withered eyes.
When the unchangeable gray lines are crawling in the distant horizon,
I have too many words to tell, and too long-standing emotion to reveal;
I will, with the desolate desert, bumpy roads, and mule-drawn cart,
I will, with a trough boat, a mountainful of wild flowers, and overcast and rainy weather,
I will embrace you with all, you,
The people I see everywhere, O,
People living in humiliation, stooping people,
I will embrace you one by one with my blood-stained hands,
Because a nation has stood up.
A peasant, his unshaped body is moving in the field;
He is the son of a woman, and the father of many children.
How many dynasties have experienced the ups and downs beside him
While hopes and disappointment are heaped upon him,
And he is always turning and turning wordlessly after the plough.
The same earth is turned over and what has ever dissolved his ancestors
Is the same crucified image which is concreting by the road.
How many joyful songs have elapsed on the road,
And how many times have his hardships come hither.
People are delivering a speech, clamoring and merry-making,
But he is not, and he only puts down the ancient hoe.
He once more believes nouns, and popular love has been transfused;
With determination, he sees himself dissolve into death.
But such a road is infinitely long,
And he is not entitled to shed tears;
He does not shed tears, since a nation has stood up.
In the bosom of mountains, under the azure sky,
When spring and autumn pass through his homestead,
The most pregnant sorrow lies latent in the deep and serene valley:
An old woman is expecting children, and many children are expecting
Hunger, while restraining themselves in hunger.
By the road is still the thatched hut which gathers darkness;
The unknowable fear is the same, and the earth
Which is encroaching life in the great nature is the same,
But once he departs he never turns back to curse.
For the sake of him I will embrace everybody,
For the sake of him I will lose the comfort of embrace;
Because of him, we cannot grant happiness.
Cry then, let’s cry to our heart’s content over him,
Since a nation has stood up.
The centuries-old wind of the ages is the same,
And endless coldness and groans which are scattered
From under the dilapidating eaves are the same.
It is singing atop a withered tree;
It has blown across deserted swamp, reeds, and insect chirping;
The voice of the crow flying over is the same.
When I pass by, and loiter on the road,
I loiter for the many years of humiliation,
And I am still waiting in the boundless mountains and rivers;
Waiting, our wordless affliction is too heavy to bear.
But a nation has stood up,
But a nation has stood up.
Green waves are dancing on the grass,
And he is keen to embrace you, flowers.
Against the earth, flowers throw themselves out,
When the warm wind blows hither vexation, or conviviality.
If you are awake, and push open the window,
See how beautiful is the gardenful of desires.
Under the azure sky, what is deluded by the eternal riddle
Is our locked bodies of twenty years,
Just like the songs of clay-made birds.
You are enkindled, but have nowhere to refuge.
O, light, shadow, voice, and color, all are naked;
In affliction, they are waiting to be merged into new combination.
We are below, and you are flying on high;
The wind is your body, and you go along with the sun;
Always wanting to fly out of the earth, but you are drawn by the ground.
You are words written in the sky, which can be read by everyone;
While clear and simple, you are at once broad and invisible;
You are the wandering souls of the heroes who are alive today.
Your minute body is the driving force of the war,
And after the war, you are the only one that is whole;
When we are reduced to ashes, you retain the glory.
Too responsible, sometimes we are at a loss.
The capitalists and landlords use you to explain themselves,
And use you to obtain the peace of everybody.
You are the heart of everybody, but you are wiser than everybody;
You come with the morning, and suffer with the night;
You are at your best to tell the joy of freedom.
Storms and tempests from all directions, are to be first felt by you;
You are the orientation of everybody, and we owe our victory to you.
We adore you, who belongs to the people nowadays.
About the author:
Mu Dan (1918—1977), his original name was Zha Liangzheng; his ancestral place is Haining of Zhejiang Province, and he was born in Tianjin. He entered the Foreign Languages Department of Qinghua University through examination in 1935; in 1949, he went to America to further his studies, and in 1953, returned to teach at Nankai University. In 1958, he published The Contending Stories of Nine Schools in People’s Daily and was hence labelled as “a historical counterrevolutionary”. He is an important member of the “Nine Leaves School”. His main works include poem collections such asThe Pathfinder, The Flag, and Collected Poems by Mu Dan, etc. In addition, he has also translated many works.
（Tr. by Zhang Zhizhong）