(Translation) 2019 烈婦入江

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Original Script

烈婦. 京山人. 進士裵中善女也. 旣笄. 歸士族李東郊. 善治內事. 洪武庚申. 倭賊逼京山. 闔境擾攘. 無敢禦者. 東郊時赴合浦帥幕. 未還. 賊騎突入烈婦所居里. 烈婦. 抱乳子走. 賊追之及江. 江水方漲. 烈婦度不能脫. 置乳子岸上. 走入江. 賊持滿注矢擬之曰. 而來. 免而死. 烈婦顧見賊. 罵曰. 何不速殺我. 我豈汚賊者邪. 賊發矢中肩. 再發再中. 遂歿於江中. 體覆使趙浚. 上其事. 族表里門.

【詩】島夷來逼孰能當. 闔境蒼皇走且僵.

  忍見亂兒呱岸上. 自知難脫赴滄浪.

  倭寇由來性不仁. 那知烈婦行眞純.

  灘聲千載猶悲咽. 到此無人不愴神.


Student Translation : Kristina Kaltenbach

The devoted wife, a person from Kyŏngsan, was the daughter ofjinsa Haejungsŏn. When she was 15 years old, she married a literatus, Lee Tonggyo. She was good at managing domestic affairs.

In the kyŏngsin year of Hongwu reign bandits were closing in on Kyŏngsan and the entire area was in commotion. There was no one daring to resist them.

At the time Tonggyo had gone to a military camp in Happ’o and had not yet returned. The bandits on horses charged into the town in which the devoted wife lived.

The devoted wife, carrying her infant, ran but the bandits chased them until they reached a river. The river water was rising at the time. The devoted wife figured that she would not be able to escape. She placed her child on the riverbank and then ran into the river.

The bandits held a fully drawn arrow aimed at her and said: “You come and we will spare you from death.”

The devoted wife turned around, looked at the bandits and said scoldingly: “Why not kill me quickly? How would I (ever) become someone defiled by bandits?”
The bandits (then) shot an arrow into her shoulder. Again, they fired and hit her and thus she died in the middle of the river. Ch’eboksa Cho Chun reported up the matter and her family was decorated and honored at their gate.

Island barbarians came forcefully--who can face them? The entire area was in chaos, running and falling down.

(Having to) bear seeing an infant crying on the shore. Knowing herself it was difficult to escape, she went into the roaring waves.

The bandits' nature originally is not benevolent. How would they know that the behavior of the devoted wife was truly pure?

The current’s sound of 1000 years seems like being choked by sadness. Coming here, there is no person who is not heartbroken.

  • Discussion Questions:

(YO) Well done. Here are a couple of translation points:
進士裵中善女也: She was a daughter of Pae Chungsŏn, a Chinsa [Advanced Scholar]
江水方漲: The river water had just swollen.
體覆使: inspector (in Yuan system)
族表里門: decorated the village gate with a banner.