The Soldier

I climbed the barren mountain, And my gaze swept far and wide For the red-lit eaves of my father’s home, And I fancied that he sighed:

My son has gone for a soldier, For a soldier night and day;

But my son is wise, and may yet return, When the drums have died away.

I climbed the grass-clad mountain, And my gaze swept far and wide For the rosy lights of a little room, Where I thought my mother sighed:

My boy has gone for a soldier, He sleeps not day and night;

But my boy is wise, and may yet return, Though the dead lie far from sight.

I climbed the topmost summit, And my gaze swept far and wide

For the garden roof where my brother stood, And I fancied that he sighed:

My brother serves as a soldier With his comrades night and day; But my brother is wise, and may yet return, Though the dead lie far away.

By Confucius