Heartbreaking Road for the Hero

wen_tianxiang__hero_of_the_southern_song_dynastyf9640f8032d24e4147c7

[one-half-first]令人心痛的英雄之路
刘珺滔

大约800年前,在中华大地上诞生了一位悲剧英雄,文天祥。
他开始只是一名书生,因才识过人,成为国家栋梁。他原本会有辉煌的前途,却不幸出生在危机重重的末世。他效忠的南宋王朝,正在风雨飘摇中苟延残喘。
忽必烈的骑兵大举南下,宋军主力大败亏输,各地守将望风而降。
败报。
败报。
还是败报。
南宋小朝廷危若累卵,百姓人心惶惶。
天空中黑压压的云彩如同元朝的虎狼之师,压得整个临安城喘不过气来。
此时此刻,城中的文武心惊胆颤,年幼的皇帝魂飞魄散。
而故事的主人公文天祥,正在散尽家财,组成义军来勤王。
遗憾的是,南宋灭亡的趋势已无法挽回。文天祥兵败被俘,元朝将领劝他给宋军残部写劝降书。文天祥给了他自己写的一首诗表示拒绝: 人生自古谁无死,留取丹心照汗青。
元朝将领沉默。
崖山海战结束,南宋十万军民投海殉国。文天祥因被士兵看管,无法自杀,被押北上,去见大元皇帝忽必烈。
忽必烈爱才,希望文天祥为自己所用。
“你若归顺我大元,我保你不失丞相之位。”
文天祥拒绝了。
刑场上,文天祥整理衣冠,向南跪拜。
故事还没有结束。
他的妻子收拾他的尸体时发现了他衣服中的赞文:孔子说成仁,孟子说取义,只有忠义至尽,仁也就做到了。读圣贤的书,所学习的是什么呢?自今以后,可算是问心无愧了。[/one-half-first]

[one-half]About 800 years ago, a tragic hero, Wen Tianxiang, was born in the land of China.

Wen began as a scholar. Because of his extraordinary knowledge, he became a national pillar and would have had a brilliant future. But unfortunately, he was born in the time of a crisis. The Southern Song Dynasty, which Wen was allegiant to, was precarious in the storm of Mongol conquest.

Kublai Khan’s cavalry came to the south. The principal force of Song was defeated and all of the defensive collapsed.

Defeated.

Defeated.

Defeated once again.

The small court of the Southern Song Dynasty was at stake, and the people were in panic. The black clouds in the sky were much like the fierce army of Yuan Dynasty, which gave tremendous pressure on the entire Lin’an City and made it breathless. At this moment, the hearts of the city and military trembled in fear of the young emperor.

The hero of this story, Wen Tianxiang, used his family wealth to organise the army towards rescuing their emperor.

But unfortunately, the trend of demise of the Southern Song Dynasty had been irreversible. Wen Tianxiang was defeated and captured, and Yuan generals expected him to write a letter to persuade the remnants of the Song Wen to surrender. Instead, Wen wrote a poem to express his refusal: All men are mortal, but my loyalty will illuminate the annals of history forever.

Yuan generals were silent.

After the battle of Yashan, hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians of the Southern Song Dynasty jumped into the ocean, becoming martyrs. Wen could not commit suicide under of the surveillance of his captors. He was detained to the North, to see the Yuan emperor Kublai Khan.

Kublai appreciated his talent, and encouraged Wen to work for the Yuan Dynasty. “If you work for our Dynasty, I promise to maintain your position of Prime Minister.”

Wen Tianxiang refused.

On the execution ground, he tidied himself up and bent his knees in worship towards the South. But the story had not ended.

When his wife picked up his body, she found these words on his clothes: Confucius advocated benevolence. Mencius advocated justice. Only when loyalty is done to its best, will benevolence be realised. What will we learn from reading the books of saints? From now on, I can harbor no regrets, because of my clear conscience.[/one-half]