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From A Concise History of Chinese Literature by Yuming Luo, Chapter 18 (Poetry and Prose of the Qing Dynasty), pg. 836, I found this piece of poetry/prose. I don't know if that is the first line or if it continues back into page 835, which is not in the preview. I can't find who wrote it from google. Shortly after it talks about the 1898 Reform and Qiu Tingliang (author of "On the Venacular as the Foundation of Reform") and Hu Shi.

The red sun has just risen, shining in its great light. The Yellow River emerges from the undercurrent and pouts into the vast sea. The hidden dragon soars from the deep pool with its scales and claws in the air. The milk-secreting tiger roads in the valley, inspiring awe in all beasts. Eagles and hawks spread their wings sending dust up in the wind. The exotic flower bursts in its first bloom: how lush and beautiful! The great sword-maker sharpens his work on the whetstone: how it sparkles! The sky hovers above in its blue serene; the earth lies down in its yellowness. In history we have a thousand ages; in land we run to the eight poles. Our road ahead is as wide as the sea; we have all the time before us. How beautiful is our China in youth; she, like Heaven, will never get old! How strong are the youths of China who, like our nation, know no limits!

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Yeah on page 835 the prose is introduced by the following paragraph:

Newspaper, as a brand-new and popular form of mass media, sprang up vigorously around the 1898 Reform, which exerted a powerful impact on the changing prose style. Liang Qichao was a representative figure in advocating this kind of “journalistic style,” also called the “new prose style.” At first, he served as the chief commentator of the Current Affairs Gazette, the most influential newspaper at the time, giving publicity to his ideas on the Reform. During his exile in Japan, he continued to write articles for the Pure Talk Gazette and the New People’s Series, discussing political affairs and disseminating knowledge of Western scholarship and culture. Articles of this kind still fell under the range of classical language, but they already contained more elements of the vernacular. In his Introduction to the Academic Research of the Qing Dynasty, Liang pointed out the special features of such writings, saying that they “tried their best to be plain and smooth, sometimes incorporating slang, rhyme, and syntax of foreign languages, running free and uninhibited. . . . These writings were neatly organized, often emotional between the lines; they held a charm of their own to the reader.” While writings of the “new prose style” were primarily propaganda rather than literature in nature, at the time they completely broke free from the restrictions of traditional classical prose, and helped to accelerate the birth of the new type of prose. Some of such writings also displayed much of literary grace. In the following we shall cite, as an example, the closure of “On China in Youth”:

Apparently it is Liang Qichao's “On China in Youth.”


I believe the original (梁启超《中国少年说》) may look something like this, but I'm not totally sure:

红日初升,其道大光;
河出伏流,一泻汪洋;
潜龙腾渊,鳞爪飞扬;
乳虎啸谷,百兽震惶;
鹰隼试翼,风尘吸张;
奇花初胎,矞矞皇皇;
干将发硎,有作其芒;
天戴其苍,地履其黄;
纵有千古,横有八荒;
前途似海,来日方长。
美哉,我少年中国,与天不老!
壮哉,我中国少年,与国无疆!

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  • Wow! Amazing! Thank you! And I'm so pleased to find out it's Liang Qichao 梁启超! – Johan88 May 16 at 19:22

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