Partridges in the Sky
· Lantern Festival in the Southern Capital
The season changes not for a passer-by,
Suddenly I see spring on a sprig of peach tree.
The lost land far away saddens me.
Could I forget its splendor in days gone-by?
With shadows flowers play,
The moon sheds her bright ray.
Over crystal palace rainbow clouds fly.
All, all are gone like a vain dream;
Turning my head in the east wind, down my tears stream.
This is the earliest lyric on Lantern Festival in the Southern Song Dynasty, in which the poet compares the splendor of the Northern and Southern capitals.
“Partridges in the Sky · Lantern Festival in the Southern Capital” is a lyric composed by Zhao Ding of the Southern Song Dynasty. The upper part of the lyric is about the author’s deportation to the bleak land of Hainan, lamenting the easy loss of time, while the lower part of the lyric is about the author’s sorrowful memories of the prosperous past of Kyoto in the old days. Through the contrast between the present and the past, the whole lyric expresses the author’s nostalgia for his homeland and his sorrow for the fall of his country, which is deeply emotional and touching.