There is no sound of a bugle here in the brisk autumn.
The soldiers on guard lean against the watchtower.
The spring wind blows toward the green tomb 2.
The sun sets on Liang City.
The immense desert has no military checkpoints.
There are tourists visiting this remote frontier.
I wish the northern border tribes' attitude toward China could be like this
Flowing south forever.
After the rebellion fomented by General An, the military power of the Tang
dynasty was greatly weakened. Tibetans took advantage of this opportunity to
occupy the land west of the Yellow River and Long Mountain. In 851 A.D., Yi-Chao
Zhang, the leader of the people in Sha City, rose up to repel Tibetans and
captured another ten cities. Then he asked his elder brother Yi-Tan Zhang to
send the map of the eleven cities as a gift to the emperor's court. In 857 A.D.,
General Yan-Xin Shang of Tibet surrendered to the Tang dynasty and brought
another piece of land, He-Huang, to China as a gift. Afterwards, China's west
border became peaceful. This is the background information crucial for
understanding this poem.
The green tomb refers to the Tomb of Zhao-Jun Wang. It is now located five
miles south of Hohhot City. Wang was originally a concubine of Emperor Yuan of
the Han dynasty. Which concubines the emperor chose to visit was solely
determined by their portraits, done by the royal artist, Yan-Shou Mao. However,
Mao was corrupt. If a concubine failed to bribe him, he made her look ugly. Wang
did not bribe Mao, so the emperor never visited her. In a peace treaty, Wang was
to be sent to marry Ho-Han-Xie, the King of the Hans (the old name for Hungary).
Only a few months before she left for Hungary did she have a chance to meet the
emperor. Emperor Yuan was amazed at her beauty and quickly fell in love with
her. When he retrieved her portrait, he discovered Mao's corruption. The emperor
was so angry that he immediately arrested Mao and killed him. But Wang still had
to leave the emperor because the marriage was already arranged. Here the spring
wind symbolizes the virtue of the Emperor of China. The green grass on Wang's
Tomb is compared to the pacified tribes of Tibetans.