34(246)
We have seen how Li Po was intent on being himself—a hermit poet satisfying himself by creative activities and paying no attention to versification as a short cut to official honors. Completely dedicated to personal freedom and glorifying the liberating influence of the beauties of nature, he was unprepared to meet the challenges of political confusion and social injustice. As a consequence, the rebellion of 755 and its upsetting effects deepened his decadence into pessimism.

35(246)
To Tu Fu, the shock of the rebellion was equally acute. Thus he sang:
歷歷開元事,分明在眼前。
無端盜賊起,忽已歲時遷。

36(246)
When the tumultuous mutiny led by An Lu-shan in 755 broke out and spread into a huge conflagration, mid-eighth-century China, which had been rhapsodizing in the plenty and peace of an age of prosperity, was caught completely unprepared. The northern half of the empire was soonest aflame, both the capital at Ch’angan and the co-capital Loyang fell, and the dynastic superstructure was on the verge of complete disintegration. It was not until the inadequacy of the dynasty to cope with the situation had been clearly demonstrated and the assistance of alien tribes had been secured that the rebellion was subdued after years of strenuous effort. Even then, the prestige and power of the central government could not be restored and the peace and prosperity of the earlier reigns could not be revived.
當安祿山之亂激烈地爆發並且蔓延出一片大火,這個大量被描述成太平盛世的八世紀中葉的中國,卻是一點準備都沒有。帝國的北半部分很快地燃起熊熊火舌,首都長安與洛陽盡皆失陷,王朝的架構處於崩解的邊緣。一直要到面臨了如此情況,王朝的缺陷才清楚地顯露出來;而且經過了多年艱苦的奮鬥,一直到取得了外族幫忙,(王室)才有把握將叛亂弭平。即使如此,中央政府的威望以及先前的繁榮盛景,也都不能再恢復了。

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