Lines 11-20

(In this 2nd section of the Huangling Bei 皇陵碑, Zhu Yuanzhang is still reeling from the aftermath of burying his parents and oldest brother.  Click here to see the previous section.  Also – click on any line number to see complete annotations of each section.)

Line 11: 既葬之后,家道惶惶.  After the burial, the path before us was fraught with suffering and worries.

Line 12: 仲兄少弱,生計不張.  My second brother (now head of the family) was young and frail, with no livelihood to depend on.

Line 13: 孟嫂攜幼,東歸故鄉.  Eldest sister-in-law had taken her children in hand and headed east to return to her own village.

Line 14: 值天無雨,遺蝗騰翔.  Heaven offered no rain, allowing the locusts to rise and circle in the air.

Line 15: 里人缺食,草木為糧.  In my village, food was scarce, with grasses and bark serving as nourishment.

rural Fengyang1
Food is more plentiful today in the village where Zhu Yuanzhang grew up.

Line 16: 予亦何有,心驚若狂.  As for myself, what did I have but fear to the point of madness?

Line 17: 乃與兄計,如何是常.  Therefore I made plans with my second brother about what would make sense.

Line 18: 兄云去此,各度凶荒.  My brother said he would leave, so that we each could find a place to endure the fearsome drought.

Line 19:兄為我哭,我為兄傷.  My brother wept for me, and I grieved for my brother,

Line 20: 皇天白日,泣斷心腸.  Under the bright sun in Heaven our sorrow rent our hearts.

Click here to read the next 10 lines of this text…


Click here to see detailed annotations of each line, including more on Zhu Yuanzhang’s brothers.

To learn more about this text click on Why does this text matter? (part 1).

To start the text from the beginning, click here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s