Ko Un - Arrows

Transformed into arrows 
let's all go, body and soul! 
Piercing the air 
let's go, body and soul, 
with no way of return, 
transfixed there, 
rotting with the pain of striking home, 
never to return. 

One last breath! Now, let's quit the string, 
throwing away like rags 
all we've had for decades 
all we've enjoyed for decades 
all we've piled up for decades, 
happiness, 
the lot. 
Transformed into arrows 
let's all go, body and soul! 

The air is shouting! Piercing the air 
let's go, body, and soul! 
In dark daylight the target is rushing towards us. 
Finally, as the target topples 
   in a shower of blood, 
let's all just once as arrows 
   bleed. 

Never to return! 
Never to return! 

Hail, arrows, our nation's arrows! 
Hail, Warriors! Spirits of the fallen! 

Translated by Brother Anthony of Taize