Mooring at Night Near Cattle Hill
I moor near Cattle Hill at night,
When there’s no cloud to fleck the sky.
On deck I gaze at the moon bright,
Thinking of General Xie with a sigh.
I too can chant, to what avail?
None has like him a listening ear.
Tomorrow I shall hoist my sail,
Amid fallen leaves I’ll leave here.
The poet thinks of General Xie who appreciated a poet chanting near Cattle Hill, but he can no longer find a connoisseur here now.
This poem is a poem written by Li Bai, a great poet of the Tang Dynasty. This poem is about the poet looking at the moon and expressing the sadness of not meeting his soulmate. The first couplet opens the door and points out the “night berth at Niuzhu” and its night scene; the jaw couplet transitions from moon gazing to nostalgia; the neck couplet returns from nostalgia to reality and sighs with emotion, expressing the deep sorrow of not meeting a soulmate; the last couplet opens the scene and imagines the scene of sailing away in the morning, highlighting the desolation and loneliness of not meeting a soulmate. The structure of the poem is clear, with ups and downs, magnificent imagery, fresh and timeless scenery without embellishment, and lyrical boldness and openness without coyness.