Congratulations to the Bridegroom
How has our country become weak?
The people loved far less than gold
Live on grass and vine old.
Our vigor spent away, for peace we seek
Across the Northern Mountain peak.
My hair turns white as snow,
Ashamed I go,
Like the princess sent to the frontier
With tear on tear.
Lucky was Confucius old,
He had Zi Lu, a disciple bold.
If you came out with flags and banners new,
And commanded an army in view,
You’d gather ours or scatter hostile force.
If you held your hand high
And raised a cry,
I would be prompt to ride my horse,
And go for miles and miles and swing my arm,
But this is only a fanciful alarm.
The world is a furnace great,
Where we may melt our fate.
In a battle against the strong,
Victory to the weak might belong.
The poet would rather fight to recover the lost land than seek peace by offering gold to the foe.
“Congratulations to the Bridegroom” is a song written by Chen Liang, a lyricist of the Southern Song Dynasty. The first stanza is a review of the humiliating history of the Song Dynasty. The first line of the lyric, “From the beginning of the disorder”, seems to intentionally bring up the long-forgotten past in order to evoke memories. The next piece is a description of the envisioned action to save the country: if the troops are led by the abandoned troops, there will be a new situation of “beheading (new) for a new flag and a different flag”. The whole lyric is a fierce attack on the reality of the Southern Song dynasty, which is a small court that lives in peace and serves the enemy in humiliation, resulting in the death of the Chinese nation’s strength.