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  • Julia Min

上枢密韩肖胄诗二首第一首 (五言)Two poems to Lord Han Xiaowei - One




序言: 绍兴癸丑五月,枢密韩公、工部尚书胡公使虏,通两宫也。有易安室者,父祖皆出韩公门下,今家世沦替,子姓寒微,不敢望公之车尘。又贫病,但神明未衰弱。见此大号令,不能忘言,作古、律诗各一章,以寄区区之意,以待采诗者云。

第一首 (五言)

























Two poems to Lord Han Xiaowei, the Minister of Military Affairs

written by: Li Qingzhao

translated by: Julia Min

Preface: This is the third year of Shaoxin ( 1133 AC) when Lord Han and Lord Hu ( Minister of Engineering ), are sent by the Emperor for the first negotiation with the heathen tribes of Jin in Jin State where they shall visit the two emperors “hunting” there. As the offspring of a follower of Han family, I can’t remain silent anymore, so I’m expressing myself with these two poems in 5-word and 7-word lines respectively. Although I do realise my family has declined gradually down to my generation, and I’m now in sickness, my conscious mind however, has been as crystal clear as before, and my respect for Lord Han increases ever more now that he’s taken the mission.


This is June, the third summer of Shaoxin,

six years after the Emperor was crowned.

His piety mind hunts north with his kin;

His body now faces south on the throne.

I understand his concerns in frustration,

as he “failed to find enough capable men”.

There’re thousands courtiers serving him,

so it maybe the outcome of predestination。

Don’t engrave good names on monuments;

Don’t plant willows that brings sentiments;

Don’t complain no noble men aside him,

progressive advice been given, but not taken.

Really no need to cut meat from the cuisine,

there has been enough to grease wheel rings.

Silk and silver tributed north is trash dumping,

and even the Song land is given before taken.

“Who could be trusted for the negotiation

to avoid more tribute with more greed in return?”

All the courtiers responded in the same voice:

“Your grace knows so well our strength.

Among hundreds of men in court positions,

the most worthy one has to be Minister Han.

Known for his heroic courage and wisdom,

he’s best for the mission to inspire millions.”

The Han Empire saw their premier Wang Shang

holding the Jin in fear with just his tall presence.

Tang’s Ziyi on the other hand, with his talent

of eloquence as a diplomat during negotiations.

The Han family is trusted assisting five reigns,

with three premiers in only four generations.

Xiaozhou’s name will be a deterrent on the Jins

before his real presence in the court of north land!

On the white marble steps before the throne hall,

You’ve taken a big bough on knees, and spoken

loud and clear you’d wish to take the mission,

and stop Jin from any new invasion to our nation.

As such, your mother has never been a burden,

and your wife is a gracious spirit of pure devotion.

You will bring peace to honour ancestral temples

serving the holy wishes of Earth and Heaven.

Holding in hand the edit sealed in purple stamp,

you’d meet Jin’s head of tribes at Yellow Dragon.

Bowed to knees and heads touching the ground,

he’d greet you in person with courtiers there then.

His Grace lives in the glory of goodwill and faith,

The insolent would remain peaceful for the moment.

Or, a peace treaty could be reached in horse blood,

both sides making royal oaths to Sun God of Heaven.

(to be continued)

( picture retrieved from Baidu)


(Please find it in the second poem)


1. ‘Han Xiaowei’: the great grandson of the famous Premier Han Qi ( 韩琦Northern Song Dynasty)

2. ‘hunts north with his kin’: Emperor Huizong and his father, Emeritus Emperor Qingzong who were both taken to the Jin State after the fall of the Northern Song capital and the Roayal Palace in Bianliang ( Kaifeng city, Henan Province today). The Court message for the world, however, tried to cover it by saying they went hunting north.

3. ’faces south’ : implying the north part of the Song territory was conquered by the Jin.

4. ‘willows that brings sentiments’: referring to the story of General Huan Wen who, on his way of conquering north, caught sight of the willow trees he planted when he was young. He sighed about how fast life was passing by: even the trees shows 10 year rings, not to mention the man who planted it.

5. ‘Wang Shang’: a premier in the Han Dynasty who is tall with a heroic temperament that once held the head of the Huns in high respect and fear during a court receiption.

6. ‘Ziyi’: Zhang Ziyi, a man of eloquaence bravery. Once he took 2000 men into the invader’s troops of tens of thousands. The enemy retreated after meeting him.

7. ‘ancestral temples’: Chinese worship their ancestors in a temple. Every gentleman’s family could have one to seven temples according to their status and ranks. Common subjects were not allowed to have one. Temples are the roots where all the family members would return to after death. It’s also symbolic of homeland in here.

8. ‘Huanglong’: today’s Nong’an County in Jilin Province, the capital of Jin State where the two emperors were imprisoned.

9. ‘in horse blood’: the custom in Jin where the blood of horse or sheep is used to sign treaties.



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