Eight Beats of Ganzhou Song
· Visiting Star Cliff
Mist spreads as far as sees the eye.
When did the big star fall from the blue sky?
It changed into a green cliff with cloudlike trees,
Where golden bowers were built for lady fair
In royal palace now in sad debris.
On Arrow Lane the eyes were hurt in chilly air
And water stained rouge with fallen flowers sweet.
Leaves fall on hollow ground;
‘Tis autumn’s sound;
It seems as if I heard the lady’s slippered feet.
In royal palace drunk the king did lie,
But the tired hermit on the lake
Fished all alone awake.
In vain I ask the silent sky;
My hair turns grey in face of mountains green.
The sky is mirrored in water serene.
Leaning on railings high,
I see crows scatter on the beach in setting sun.
I ask for wine long and loud,
And stand upon Lute Terrace, where is none
But autumn high and lonely as a cloud.
The poet visits Star Cliff where the king of Wu built a palace with golden bowers for his favorite Lady Xi Shi, and drank with her in the Gallery of Hollow Ground, beside Arrow Lane or on Lute Terrace until his kingdom was overthrown in 482 BC.
“Eight Beats of Ganzhou Song · Visiting Star Cliff ” is a nostalgic lyric composed by Wu Wenying in the Song Dynasty. The upper part of the lyric is nostalgic for the ancient times, while the lower part is sad for the present. By paying homage to the monuments of the Wu Palace, the lyric recounts the past events of the Wu-Yue hegemony, and expresses the feeling of the rise and fall of the ancient and modern times and the hatred of having no accomplishment. The whole lyric is far-reaching, majestic, with a blend of scenery, reality and reality, clear and elegant, somber and desolate. The lyricist changes the normal way of thinking, turning the real scenes in the eyes of ordinary people into illusions and the illusions in the eyes of ordinary people into real scenes, creating a dream-like artistic realm through peculiar artistic imagination and association.