Black clouds bear down upon the tottering town./ Mail glints like golden fish scales in the sun./ Bugling invests the sky with autumn splendor/ as crimson forts freeze in the purple dusk./ Red flags, half-furled, withdraw to the river Ye./ Our drumrolls faint, muffled in heavy frost./And to repay honor conferred from the Golden Dais,/ I draw my jade dragon sword to die for my Emperor.

--Le He (Tang Dynasty)

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