Snow Falling on China’s Land

Snow falling on China’s land,
Cold is blocking China…

Like a wailing old woman,
Closely following
The claws stretching with cold,
To clasp the clothes of passengers,
Endlessly prattling
In words as old as the land…

You, China’s farmhand
Emerging from forest,
Driving a cart,
Wearing a leather hat,
Braving the snow,
Where are you going?

I tell you,
I am a descendant of the farmhand, too.
Because of your
Faces fully carved with pains and wrinkles,
I can understand
So deeply
The hardships of the years
Of those living on the prairie.

And I
No more happier than you.
—Lying on the river of time,
The waves of bitterness
Have for several times swallowed and involved me —
Vagrancy and imprisonment
Have deprived me
Of my best days of my youth,
My life, too
Wan and sallow
As your lives.

Snow falling on China’s land,
Cold is blocking China…

Along the river of the snowy night,
A little lamp is slowly moving,
In a shabby roofed boat,
Against the light, bending the head low,
Who is it that is sitting there?

— Ah, you
An uncombed young woman,
Is it that
Your home
—That happy and warm nest —
Was destroyed
By the brutal enemy?
Is it that
You have lost the protection of your husband
At such a night,
And you have suffered from the bullying of the enemy’s bayonet
In the terror of death?

Alas! At such a cold night,
Our numerous
Old mothers,
Crouching not in their own homes,
Just like people of an alien land,
Not knowing where the wheels
Will go tomorrow…
— Besides,
China’s way
Is so tortuous
And so slushy.

Snow falling on China’s land,
Cold is blocking China…

Through this prairie of the snowy night,
In those regions licked by the war-fire,
Countless cultivators of land
Lost the cattle they herd,
And their fertile fields,
In a desperate dirty lane:
The famine land,
Toward the overcast heaven,
Stretches out its trembling arms
For aid.

China’s pains and disasters
Widespread and lengthy as this snowy night!

Snow falling on China’s land,
Cold is blocking China…

In my lightless night,
Can my frail lines
Offer you some warmth?


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