A Sprig of Mume Blossoms
· Farewell at Phoenix Pavilion
I traveled by torchlight for ten long miles at night,
With light baggage
But thick package.
On slippery roadside in cold day horsehoofs slide;
You come anew
To say adieu.
With face flushed with wine, we talk and write verse fine,
Trembling the wall,
Startled the hall.
People clap hands so glad, laughing to say we’re mad.
What if we’re free
Or in high glee?
The poet looking drunk is sober in mind; seeming mad, he is sad at heart.
“A Sprig of Mume Blossoms · Farewell at Phoenix Pavilion” is a lyric by Liu Kezhuang of the Song Dynasty. It is a unique farewell lyric, depicting the parting of two repressed and unyielding madmen, with the upper piece describing the scene before their departure and the lower piece describing the farewell scene. The parting scene is decorated like a moving one-act play. The whole lyric is deep in sorrow and indignation, and is full of passionate emotion, developing the prose and polemical character of the lyric, reflecting the characteristics of the Xin school of lyricists.