Pride of Fishermen
· For My Elder Cousin
I gaze eastward: where is my native land?
I see but thousands of rivers and mountains stand.
I’ve written letter on letter but in vain
Having shed tear on tear,
I can receive no reply till next year.
I ask the running water under the Bridge Red
When my boat can go to find you at river’s head.
I’m growing old by roaming to the end of the sky,
Sleepless I sigh,
Amid the tea and smoke only grey hairs remain.
The poet writes this nostalgic lyric for his cousin twelve years his senior.
“Pride of Fishermen · For My Elder Cousin” is a work by Lu You, a patriotic poet and lyricist of the Song Dynasty. The first piece focuses on the separation between Shu and his hometown of Shangyin, while the second piece expresses the psychology of aging and the sadness of wasting time, as well as the remembrance of brotherly love in the past. The entire lyric is detailed and lyrical, using a euphemistic tone and deep emotion to express the author’s grief and anger at being ostracized by the surrendering forces inside and outside the imperial court.