Watching the Southern Shore
The Southern moon bright
Fills the western tower on a clear night.
The clouds throw out a mirror of ice;
Deep in the waves sinks a hook of jade so nice.
When will it wax and wane no more?
The River of Stars has no shore;
The breeze and dew bring an autumn new.
The laurel tree knows not the grief of fallen leaves;
The Moon Goddess should believe parting grieves.
She shares human woe as of yore.
The poet describes the moon and associates it with the grief of parting.
Wang Qi’s lyric on the moon draws on the scenery to express his feelings, and speaks of his emotions: the roundness of the moon symbolizes the unpredictability of human affairs; the image of Chang’e implies a deep and painful sorrow for separation, and writes about the sorrow and happiness of the world. The whole lyric is vividly written, with subtlety of objects and a far-reaching and implicit mood.