When Cao Cao’s men closed on Zhang Xiu then,
Jia Xu says, ‘Lord, we are wrecked!
Let’s yield to Cao.’ So that’s what Xiu does now,
and treats Cao with respect.
When Cao instead takes his aunt to bed,
Xiu says, ‘Enough’s enough!
He will soon dismay at this shameful day,
when I beat him up so rough.
‘He’s an easy hit, but the tricky bit
is his guardsman called Dian Wei;
His strength is fell and he’s brave as hell,
plus he guards Cao night and day.’
At Jia Xu’s plan he picks a man —
Hu Che-Er is his name.
To him he bades to steal Wei’s blades
without which he’s not the same.
Jia Xu that night, to get things right,
treats Dian Wei to have wine.
When he gets stoned, the blades he owned
disappear without a sign.
Right then Cao Cao is having chow
together with Xiu’s aunt.
And all around comes a deaf’ning sound
‘Fire!’ ‘Run, run!’ ‘I can’t!’
Dian Wei’s awake, and tries to shake
himself from drunken slumber.
The en’my’s near, but where’s his gear
The halberds aren’t in the number!
He grabs a sword, and sees the horde
each charging with a spear.
He bolts up front, and in a stunt,
kills twenty that are near!
The main force comes, the scene becomes
a sea of spears and pikes.
Poor Dian Wei has no armour clad
But fearless still he strikes.
The spears hit him — the scene is grim,
as his sword is broken as well.
He grabs two foes, and flinging those,
He kills ten more with a yell.
The foe retreats, but now Wei meets
arrows that fall like rain;
Bold Dian Wei shouts, ‘Retreat, you louts!
This gate you’ll never gain!’
This desperate guy has spirits high
But ever cruel is fate —
The foe does track behind the back
And arrive behind the gate.
On Dian Wei’s back, he gets a whack
and pierced the spear him through
With several cries, our hero dies,
the ground with his own blood imbrue.
The time passed some, yet none dare come
close where was slain the man.
Thus Cao could scrape the time to escape
though he lost a few of his clan.
And here, my friends, the story ends,
of a man so loyal and bold;
And I leave you here (with much a tear)
the tale of “E-Lai of Old”.
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All listed poetry copyright © 2004