Sources: Yi Gyubo’s “Ballad of King Dongmyeong” 東明王篇 – part 3 of 3

See parts 1 and 2.

形勝開王都  형승개왕도  At a propitious site (形勝) [he] established the royal capital,
山川鬱嶵巋  산천울죄규  the emerging rivers were [surrounded by] dense [forest] and soaring peaks.

自坐茀蕝上 자좌불절상 Sitting upon a reed seat,
略定君臣位 약정군신위 the position of ruler and subject was roughly fixed.

The king sat by himself on bound reeds  (茀蕝) and roughly fixed the position of subject and ruler.

咄哉沸流王  돌재비류왕  [He] rebuked the Biryu king,
何奈不自揆  하내불자규  “How could you not realise (撥) [who I am],
苦矜仙人後  고긍선인후  proud [only] of being the descendant of a mountain spirit (仙人)?!”
未識帝孫貴  미식제손귀  Not knowing the nobility of the imperial grandson,
徒欲爲附庸  도욕위부용  trying to make [Jumong’s kingdom] a vassal state,
出語不愼葸  출어불신사  the Biryu king] spoke without caution or fear.
未中畫鹿臍  미중화록제  He was unable to hit the deer’s navel
驚我倒玉指  경아도옥지  [and] was astonished by our (我) shattering the jade ring.

The Biryu king, Song Yang (松讓) was out hunting [when] he saw the king [Jumong] whose appearance was unusual. He waylaid [引] him and sitting together said, “[My] remote [kingdom] () is in a corner of the sea [and so] I have not had the chance to see you, lord, [earlier]. What happiness this is today to meet by chance?! Who are you? From where have you come?”

The king (Jumong) said, “I am the grandson of heaven and king of the western country (西國). I dare to ask you, lord king, your lineage.”

Yang said, “I (豫) am descended from a mountain spirit (仙人) and have been king for generations. This present land is small and cannot be divided between two kings. The days are shallow since you made your kingdom [so] you should become a vassal to me.”

The king said, “I am a descendant of heaven. [You,] current king, are not of divine lineage (今王非神之胄) [but] you insist on (强) calling [yourself] king. If you do not submit (歸) to me, heaven will surely kill (極) [you].”

[Hearing] the king repeatedly (累) declare himself the grandson of heaven, Song Yang [began to] harbour doubt inside himself. Intending to test his talents he said, “I wish to shoot together with you, king!”

[They] set up (寘) a deer frame within a hundred paces and shot [at] it. His arrows did not [even] enter the deer’s navel, [but] rather he seemed clumsy handed (倒手). The king (Jumong) ordered [his] men to dangle a jade ring at more than a hundred paces and shot [at] it. It shattered like a tile disintegrating [at which] Song Yang was greatly astonished, etc.

來觀鼓角變  내관고각변  Coming and seeing the drums and horns (鼓角) had changed
不敢稱我器  불감칭아기  [he] dared not [even] name his own bowls.

The king said, “The task of the country (國業) has been newly created and so there is not yet any dignified majesty (威儀), when the Biryu emissary visited I was unable to receive him with the appropriate royal etiquette (王禮) and so he regarded me lightly.”

Attendant vassal (從臣) Bubunno (扶芬奴) came forward and said, “[Your] vassal will, for the great king, take the drum of Biryu.”

The king replied, “How can you take something hidden (藏) in another country?!”

[Bubunno] responded, It is something given by heaven, how can [we] not take it?!  (夫) When the great king experienced hardship in Buyeo, who would have said the great king would be able to reach [this far]? The great king has now come through (奮身) the peril of ten thousands deaths and his name is known [even] in Liaodong (遼左 lit. ‘left of Liao’). This has been carrying out the order of the Celestial Emperor. What task will not be accomplished?”

With this Bubunno, together with three others, went to Biryu, took the drum and returned. The Biryu king sent an emissary saying what one would expect (云云). The king (Jumong) was fearful [that Song Yang] might come to see the drum and horns (鼓角) [and so] colored them dark [to look] as though they were old (故). Song Yang did not dare to make war and left.

來觀屋柱故  내관옥주고  Coming and seeing the old pillars of [Jumong’s] abode (屋),
咋舌還自愧  사설환자괴  [Song Yang] bit his tongue and felt ashamed of himself.

Song Yang had meant to make [Goguryeo] a vassal [based] on the respective ages of their capitals. When building his palace, the king (Jumong) used rotten wood for the pillars [making] it appear a thousand years old. [After] Song Yang came and saw [the palace], he no longer dared to dispute the age of their capitals.

東明西狩時  동명서수시  When Dongmyeong (aka Jumong) went hunting to the west
偶獲雪色麂  우획설색궤  by chance he caught a snow white gwe (麂).

A large deer is called a gwe.

倒懸蟹原上  도현해원상  Hanging it upside down above Hae-won (‘crab’) plain (蟹原)
敢自呪而謂  감자주이위  he dared himself to curse saying,
天不雨沸流  천불우비류  “[If] heaven does not rain on Biryu
漂沒其都鄙  표몰기도비  floating and sinking that capital and surroundings
我固不汝放  아고불여방  I will definitely not release you!
汝可助我懫  여가조아치  You can help my anger (懫).”
鹿鳴聲甚哀  녹명성심애  The deer belled with an awful sadness
上徹天之耳  상철천지이  piercing the ears of heaven above.
霖雨注七日  임우주칠일  Summer rains poured down for seven days,
霈若傾淮泗  패약경회사  the force of the rain was as if the Hoe (淮) and Sa (泗) rivers had tipped to one side.
松讓甚憂懼  송양심우구  Song Yang was deeply worried and afraid;
沿流謾橫葦  연류만횡위  torrents flattened reeds with contempt,
士民競來攀  사민경래반  nobles and commoners [alike] (士民) fought [with one another] to hold on [to anything they could].
流汗相目+咢 眙  류한상악태  With sweat flowing, the [could only] shout and stare.

東明卽以鞭  동명즉이편  Dongmyeong with his whip thereupon (卽)
畫水水停沸  화수수정비  struck the water and the water ceased bubbling (沸).
松讓擧國降  송양거국항  Song Yang took his country and surrendered;
是後莫予訾  시후막여자  thereafter he did not again slander (訾) [Jumong].

Hunting westwards [Jumong] caught a white deer. Hanging it in Hae-won plain, he made a curse (咒), “If heaven does not rain, floating and sinking [those] of the Biryu royal capital, I will definitely not release you! If you want to avoid this difficulty you are able to beseech heaven. The deer belled sorrowfully and [its] voice pierced the sky (天). Summer rains fell for seven days and submerged Song Yang’s capital. The king used a reed rope (索) to cross the torrent, riding ducks and horses; the people all grasped this rope (索). Jumong struck the water with his whip, the water soon (郞) disappeared (滅). In the sixth month, Song Yang took his country and surrendered etc.

玄雲羃鶻嶺  현운멱골령  Black clouds enveloped Gollyeong mountain (鶻嶺 ‘pereguin peak’);
不見山邐迤  불견산리이  the mountain became faint (邐迤) and could not be seen.
有人數千許  유인수천허  [The sound] of many thousands of people’s work cries (許) [could be heard]

斲木聲髣髴  착목성방불  like the sound of timbers being cut.
王曰天爲我  왕왈천위아  The king said, “Heaven is, for me,
築城於其趾  축성어기지  constructing a fortress on that spot.”
忽然雲霧散  홀연운무산  Suddenly the cloud and mist dispersed
宮闕高山纍嵬  궁궐고류외  and a towering palace soared up high.

In the seventh month, black clouds arose [on] Gollyeong mountain. People could not see the mountain, they could just hear the sound (聲 lit. ‘voices’) of several thousand people [as though] engaged in construction works. The king said, “Heaven is constructing a fortress for me.”

On the seventh day, the cloud and mist dispersed by itself. A fortress, palace buildings and pagoda/raised pavilion (臺) had all spontaneously been made. The king bowed to imperial heaven (皇天) and took up residence.

在位十九年  재위십구년  Nineteen years after assuming the kingship
升天不下莅  승천불하리  [he] ascended to heaven and did not return (莅).

In the ninth month during autumn, the king ascended to heaven and did not come down [again]. At that time he was aged forty. The crown prince held funeral rites on Yong-san mountain (龍山 ‘dragon mountain’) using the jade [handled] whip [the king] had left etc.

俶儻有奇節  숙당유기절  Talented [and] ambitious, [he] had wondrous integrity;
元子曰類利  원자왈류리  the eldest son was called Yuri (類利).
得劒繼父位  득검계부위  Obtaining a sword he inherited his father’s position;
塞盆止人詈  색분지인리  plugging the vessel, he stopped the person’s rebukes.

[Since] he was small, Yuri had a strange (奇) integrity etc. When he was small he employed himself [shooting] sparrows with a sling shot. [One day] he saw a woman carrying a water pail [and] shot it. The woman became angry and reprimanded (詈) him, saying, “A boy with no father has shot and broken my bucket[!]”

Yuri [felt] greatly ashamed; with a round mud pellet, he plugged the pail’s hole [making it] like it had been before. Returning home, he asked his mother, “Who is my father?”

[Because] Yuri was [still] small his mother teased him saying, “You have no definite (定) father.”

Yuri cried and said, “If a person has no definite father then in the future what face (面目) will he have to look at others?!”

In the end he sought (欲) to cut his own throat. Greatly shocked, his mother stopped him saying, “I was only teasing your ears just now. Your father is the grandson of the Celestial Emperor and Habaek. [Due to] resentment [felt by others] at his becoming a vassal (臣) of Buyeo, [he was forced to] flee to the southern lands and there established a nation (國家). You [should] go and see him.”

[Yuri] replied, “My father has become a ruler (君) of men, I have become a [mere] vassal (臣), how could I not be ashamed (愧)?!”

His mother said, “When he left, your father said these words, ‘I have a hidden object above the pine tree on top of a stone in the seventh valley of the seventh mountain ridge/pass (七嶺七谷). The one who is able to obtain it is my son.”

Yuri went to the mountain valley by himself. He searched but could not find (得) [it]. Exhausted, he turned [to go back, when] he heard a sad voice [coming from] the pillar (柱) of an alter/shrine (堂). The pillar [turned out to be] a pine above a stone tree; its body had seven ridges (稜). By himself Yuri realized that, “The seven [mountain] ridges and seven valleys are the seven ridges [of the tree]. The pine above a stone is the pillar.”  Ascending, he then saw that at the top of the pillar was a hole. [There] he found the fragment of a broken sword and was greatly happy.

In the 4th Hongjia year (鴻嘉 17BCE) of Former Han [emperor Cheng 成] during the 4th month, summer, [he] fled to Goguryeo. Presenting the sword fragment to the king, the king took out a broken sword [he] had, and the sword fragment matched. Blood emerged and it became a single sword [once more]. The king said to Yuri, “You are truly my son. What divine holiness (神聖) do you possess?”

Responding to [the king’s] voice (應聲) [Yuri] lifted his body and soared into the air. Riding the sunlight [coming through the] light shaft, [he] showed his supernatural [power] of divine holiness (神聖之異); the king greatly rejoiced (悅) and made [Yuri] crown prince.

我性本質木  아성본질목  My nature is originally truthful and rustic (木),
性不喜奇詭  성불희기궤  [by] nature [I] do not like the strange or peculiar.
初看東明事  초간동명사  When [I] first saw [about] the events of Dongmyeong
疑幻又疑鬼  의환우의귀  [I] was suspicious that they were illusionary and demonic.
徐徐漸相涉  서서점상섭  Slowly, gradually through extensive investigation (相涉),
變化難擬議  변화난의의  the transformation was difficult to deny (擬議 doubt).
況是直筆文  황시직필문  With it directly written down by brush
一字無虛字  일자무허자  [I see] not one character is false (虛).
神哉又神哉  신재우신재  It is [simply] divine (神) and divine again!
萬世之所韙  만세지소위  It is something which has been correct (韙) throughout all ages.
因思草創君  인사초창군  Consequently [I have come to] think about a sovereign who establishes [a dynasty],
非聖卽何以  비성즉하이  if this is not holy (聖) then what is?!
劉媼息大澤  유온식대택  Old lady Yu rested in the great pool (大澤)
遇神於夢寐  우신어몽매  and in a dream whilst asleep she met a god.
雷電塞晦暝  뇌전색회명  [Amidst] thunder, [brightness] turned to black,
蛟龍盤怪傀  교룡반괴괴  a wingless dragon strangely coiled (盤) [itself]
因之卽有娠  인지즉유신  and so there was a pregnancy.
乃生聖劉季  내생성유계  Thereupon the holy Liu Ji (劉季) was born.
是惟赤帝子  시유적제자  This was the son of the Red Emperor (first emperor of the Han dynasty).
其興多殊祚  기흥다수조  [Upon his] arising there were many special omens.
世祖始生時  세조시생시  When Shizu (世祖) was first born
滿室光炳煒  만실광병위  the chambers were filled with shining light.
自應赤伏符  자응적복부  Responding by himself to the [prophetic] Chifufu (赤伏符 ‘red letter token’) [text],
掃除黃巾僞  소제황건위  [he] swept away the Yellow Turban fraudsters (僞).
自古帝王興  자고제왕흥  Since ancient times when an emperor (帝王) rose up
徵瑞紛蔚蔚  징서분울울  there would be many auspicious omens
末嗣多怠荒  말사다태황  [whilst] the last successor would be lazy and rough
共絶先王祀  공절선왕사  and cease sacrificial rites for all (共) previous kings.
乃知守成君  내지수성군  Now it is known that a ruler who successfully continues the achievements [of his ancestors]
集蓼戒小  집료계소비  is attentive to [even] small matters on [this] harsh land (集蓼),
守位以寬仁  수위이관인  maintains his position with generous humanity
化民由禮義  화민유예의  and cultures the people through ritual etiquette and ceremony.
永永傳子孫  영영전자손  [The kingship is] transmitted through descendants for long ages
御國多年紀  어국다년기  [in order] to govern their country for many epochs.