Congratulations to the Bridegroom
· A Songstress Singing at the Banquet
I was born in a humble family.
While young, I played on all the strings of lutes
And blew on jade flutes.
I’ve learned the Cooing and Wooing song,
But I’m ashamed to hear orioles warbling long.
I will not sing lovers’ complaint in spring.
Who would tell the noble son to bring
A saddled horse to carry me
To his boudoir fragrant with white pear flowers?
But before I start,
I’m idle at heart.
The noble son has twelve gardens and bowers.
His favorite infancy dress would play
In the bower green with uprolled screen.
I thought in splendid hall should vibrate fine strings.
But what I hear is laughable vulgar things.
Looking back, I find the mansion far away.
I know my plaintive but not mourning song
I’ve played all my life long.
Once I but try,
Thrice you would sigh.
The poet writes this lyric for a songstress, in whom we can find the poet himself. The noble son alludes to the emperor and his favorite to the capitulationist ministers. The Cooing and Wooing is the first song in The Book of poetry which sings of communion of man with nature and which all Chinese intellectuals of ancient days should learn by heart. Vulgar songs refer to what sing the capitulationists.
“Congratulations to the Bridegroom · A Songstress Singing at the Banquet” is a lyric composed by Liu Kezhuang, a lyricist of the Southern Song Dynasty. This lyric is a lamentation of the author’s lack of talent in the mouth of a songstress. The first six lines of the first piece are the first part of the lyric, in which the heroine describes her origins, the skills she has learned and her pursuit of art; the last four lines of the first piece and the first six lines of the second piece are the second part of the lyric, in which the heroine is “welcomed in” by the marquis and soon expelled; the last four lines of the second piece are the third part of the lyric, in which the heroine confesses before she sings at the banquet attended by the author. The last four lines of the next piece are the third part, which is a confession of the heroine before she sings at the banquet attended by the author. The last four lines of the next piece are the third part, a confession of the heroine before she sings at the banquet.