The Moon over the West River
Life is as short as a spring dream;
Love is fleetinglike autumn stream.
Don’t on gain or loss speculate!
We can’t avoid our fate.
I’m lucky to have three cups of good wine.
What’s more, I can enjoy fresh flower.
Make merry in laughter for an hour.
Who knows if tomorrow it will be fine.
The poet cannot but accept his failure.
“The Moon over the West River” is a lyric written by Zhu Dunru, a lyricist of the Southern Song Dynasty. This small lyric is written in prose, expressing the lyricist’s understanding of the world in his twilight years and revealing an idle and distant style. The first two lines are full of sour strokes, expressing the author’s understanding of life in a graphic way. Next, the author turns to attribute the changes and manifestations of world affairs and human feelings to the power of “fate”. In the two concluding lines, the author again sighs in deeper sorrow at the unpredictability of heaven’s ways. The lines are well-crafted, the metaphors are ironic and natural, and the words flow naturally, if not inadvertently, like a stallion injecting a slope in one breath.