貧時忍辱 乞食漂母 受侮胯下
俯首而走 腰懇利劍 計擒猛虎
A verse in critique says:
In times of poverty he endured,
begging food of a washer woman;
Humiliated by being forced to kneel,
he bowed his head and retreated.
With a sharp sword at his waist,
he was able to capture the ferocious tiger;
He became leader of the three united states,
but lacked the blessings to enjoy such wealth and honor.
In times of poverty he endured, begging food of a washer woman: When he was poor in his youth, he tolerated insult because he needed food.
Humiliated by being forced to kneel, he bowed his head and retreated: When he was humiliated and made to crawl between someone’s legs, he bowed his head and left.
With a sharp sword at his waist: He often carried a sharp sword about his waist.
He was able to capture the ferocious tiger: The Overlord of Chu then was like a ferocious tiger.
He became leader of the three united states: He became the Emperor of the three united states.
But lacked the blessings to enjoy such wealth and honor: Although he had wealth and honor, he had no blessings and was unable to enjoy them.
Another verse says:
Tolerant when poor, arrogant when wealthy;
His heroic air could conquer mountains and vanquish rivers,
yet his nature was indecisive and impetuous.
As marshal he could command as many soldiers as he liked;
The emperor captured the king in order to avert disaster.
Regretting not having heeded the advice of a wise adviser,
he fell into a woman’s trap.
From of old how many outstanding men of talent
have lived foolishly and remained unenlightened to the end!
Tolerant when poor, arrogant when wealthy: When he was poor he could be patient, but when he attained fame and honor he became proud and arrogant.
His heroic air could conquer mountains and vanquish rivers, yet his nature was indecisive and impetuous: He had the bearing of a hero and marshal – an air that “could conquer mountains and vanquish rivers”, for it was not easy to defeat the Overlord of Chu. But he was irresolute and rash.
As marshal he could command as many soldiers as he liked: Once Liu Bang asked, “How many soldiers do you think I can use?” Han Xin answered, “Your Highness, you can use only ten thousand soldiers.” Liu Bang then asked, “And how many can you use?” He replied, “The more the better.” Liu Bang later exclaimed, “Indeed! Why have you been captured by me?” meaning why had Han Xin allowed himself to be caught by Liu Bang. When Liu Bang went to Han Xin’s residence, Han Xin came out to welcome him, but as he knelt down to receive him, Liu Bang ordered the guards to seize him, then stripped him of his military power and hauled him back to the imperial court. Now he could no longer be ruler of the three states. When drinking wine, Liu Bang questioned Han Xin again, “Indeed! Why have you been captured by me?” This time, Han Xin knelt and replied, “The marshal may use soldiers well, but how can it be compared to the Your Highness’ use of the marshal!” This meaning was that I, Han Xin, may use soldiers well, but you, Liu Bang, are even better at using your generals.
The emperor captured the king in order to avert disaster: Emperor Liu (Liu Gao Zu) had Han Xin captured to prevent chaos from overtaking the country.
Regretting not having heeded the advice of a wise adviser, in the end
he fell into a woman’s trap. When he was dying, Han Xin said, “I regret not having listened to Kuai Che’s advice, and now I die at the hands of a woman – the Empress Lu.” In the end he was ensnared by a woman.
From of old how many outstanding men of talent: from ancient times there have been many heroes of courage and valor. How many of them
have lived foolishly and remained unenlightened to the end! Even when dying they failed to awaken. They only lived foolishly and spent their lives in vain.