· Victory on River Fei
The river a thousand miles long divides
The North from Southern land
By endless snowlike white-crested tides,
Impossible barrier set up by Heaven’s hand
Strengthened by human forces,
Could it be crossed by Tartar horses?
The foe a million in strength
Fell on the south out of the sky.
But in a twinkling of the eye,
General Xie defeated them with ease, at length.
How great and strong!
On River Fei eight thousand spears in array
Defeated the giant swines and serpents long.
With whip in hand, and flags over the land.
They beat the foe as wind blows grass away.
Hearing the crane at night,
The foe, taking it for war cry, fled in fright.
They who prolonged the reign
And protected the land with might and main
Should be glorified by triumphant songs.
After the fall of the Northern Song capital. General Li Gang thinks of General Xie who defeated the strong foe against heavy odds on River Fei in 382.
This is one of the seven historical lyrics of Li Gang, a famous general who fought against the Jin Dynasty in the Song Dynasty. It is one of the best of the seven poems. The author’s descriptions of the battle are organized in a methodical manner, and they not only explicitly describe the geographical location and human harmony on the part of the Eastern Jin Dynasty, but also implicitly describe the whole process of the defeat of the former Qin from the long advance to the hasty defeat, showing the author’s superb artistic expression skills.