Yue Fei is well-known for his patriotism and loyalty towards his country. According to historical records and legend, Yue had the four Chinese characters 精忠报国 – “serve the country with utmost loyalty” – tattooed across his back.
“Man Jiang Hong” 满江红 is his most acclaimed poem. This poem reflects the raw hatred he felt towards the Jurchen-ruled Jin dynasty, as well as the sorrow he felt when his efforts to recoup northern lands lost to Jin were halted by Southern Song officials of the “Peace Faction”.
nù fà chōng guān, píng lán chù, xiāo xiāo yǔ xiē.
tái wàng yǎn, yǎng tiān cháng xiào, zhuàng huái jī liè.
sān shí gōng míng chén yǔ tǔ,
bā qiān lǐ lù yún hé yuè.
mò děng xián bái liǎo shào nián tóu, kōng bēi qiè.
jìng kāng chǐ, yóu wèi xuě;
chén zǐ hèn, hé shí miè?
jià cháng jū tà pò Hè lán shān què!
zhuàng zhì jī cān hú lǔ ròu,
xiào tán kě yǐn xiōng nú xuè.
daì cóng tóu shōu shí jiù shān hé, cháo tiān què.
满江红 – 岳飞
Man Jiang Hong – Yue Fei
My wrath bristles through my helmet, the rain stops as I stand by the rail;
I look up towards the sky and let loose a passionate roar.
At the age of thirty, my deeds are nothing but dust, my journey has taken me over eight thousand li
So do not sit by idly, for young men will grow old in regret.
The Humiliation of Jingkang still lingers,
When will the pain of the Emperor’s subjects ever end?
Let us ride our chariots through the Helan Pass,
There we shall feast on barbarian flesh and drink the blood of the Xiongnu.
Let us begin anew to recover our old empire, before paying tribute to the Emperor.