by Li Bai (Li Po), ca. 746
Last year we fought at the source of the Sanggan River;
This year in Xinjiang, on the road to Conghe.
We pasture our horses on the snowy slopes of Tian Shan,
And rinse our weapons in the Caspian Sea.
The front stretches for ten thousand miles;
Our troops are all worn out, too old to fight.
For the Huns, fighting and slaughter take the place of plowing;
From ancient times, their fields of yellow sand have grown nothing but bones.
The Qin Emperor built the Great Wall to keep them at bay,
And a thousand years later, we’re still tending the beacons.
Again and again the beacon fires are lit,
And war rages on without end.
Men die fighting hand-to-hand;
The screams of fallen horses reach to the heavens.
Kites and vultures gorge on human entrails, carry them off,
And leave them hanging from withered mulberry branches.
Officers and soldiers bloody the grass and bushes;
What good are the generals’ strategies now?
They must know that war is a terrible tool.
The true sage never makes use of it.
Translated with the help of a dictionary. I’m reasonably certain I got the gist of it, though.