I watered my horse at the Long Wall caves,
water so cold it hurt his bones;
I went and spoke to the Long Wall boss:
" We're soldiers from T'ai-yüan — will you keep us here forever? "
" Public works go according to schedule —
swing your hammer, pitch your voice in with the rest! "
A man'd be better off to die in battle
than eat his heart out building the Long Wall!
The Long Wall — how it winds and winds,
winds and winds three thousand tricents;

here on the border, so many strong boys;
in the houses back home, so many widows and wives.
I sent a letter to my wife:
" Better remarry than wait any longer —
serve your new mother-in-law with care
and sometimes remember the husband you once had. "
In answer her letter came to the border:
" What nonsense do you write me now?
Now when you're in the thick of danger,
how could I rest by another man's side! "
[He] If you bear a son, don't bring him up!
But a daughter — feed her good dried meat.
Only you can't see, here by the Long Wall,
the bones of the dead men heaped about!
[She] I bound up my hair and went to serve you;
constant constant was the care of my heart;
too well I know your borderland troubles;
and I — can I go on like this much longer?
Author of original: 
Ch'en Lin
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