Zhao Mengfu Poem: The Tomb of General Yue Fei – 赵孟頫《岳鄂王墓》

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Yue Fei – 岳飞



















Yue Fei – 岳飞

The Tomb of General Yue Fei[1]

Zhao Mengfu

The tomb of General Yue with grass is desolate;

In dreary autumn day the stone beasts stand like crags.

The rulers fleeing south made light of northern state;

People in Central Plain longed for the general’s flags.

What is the use of regretting the hero’s death?

How could half of the divided country last long?

Do not sing to West Lake this strain and waste your breath!

Hills mirrored in the waves can’t bear your grievous song.


[1]General Yue Fei (1103—1141) who tried to recover the lost Central Plain was sentenced to death by the emperor fleeing to the south and was buried by the side of West Lake.

Yue Fei – 岳飞


“The Tomb of General Yue Fei” is a poem in seven lines composed by Zhao Mengfu, a poet of the Song and Yuan dynasties, and is a nostalgic poem in seven lines. Reflecting such a reality, the poem expresses the author’s sigh and mourning for the death of the anti-jin hero, condemns the Southern Song ruler and ministers for their misconduct, and reveals his deep thoughts of his homeland. The first couplet of the poem reflects the poet’s miserable and desolate mood. The two lines of the first couplet denounce Song Gaozong for going against the ancient teachings, putting the cart before the horse, confusing right and wrong, and disregarding the lives and deaths of millions of people in the Central Plains. The neck couplet laments that Yue Fei was killed and the Southern Song Dynasty was in a state of decline that could not be undone; the world was divided, and the situation of being isolated in one corner could not be sustained. The last couplet echoes the opening line, asking people to “not to sing this song to the West Lake”, otherwise it will surely lead to the sadness of the lake and the mountains, and everything in the world.

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