Spring on the Pool
Adult, I served in the army long ago,
The breath I exhaled would swallow the beaten foe.
War clouds rose higher,
At night burned beacon fire.
With reddened face, black hair and sharpened spear,
We marched to the west frontier.
But my scholar’s habit has hindered my career.
Awake from my wild dream,
I float my leaflike boat on Southern stream.
Singing the plaintive lays,
I think of heroes of bygone days.
On boundless misty waves, alas!
Where can I find the ancient Pass?
In vain I’ve passed another year.
In this lyric the poet recalls his army life on the frontier.
“Spring on the Pool” is a lyric by Lu You of the Southern Song Dynasty. The first piece recalls his youthful military career when he was stationed at the frontier, defending his country, and is full of the author’s youthful spirit and patriotic sentiment; the second piece is sad, in which the lyricist is eager to recover his homeland in the Central Plains occupied by the Jin Dynasty, but he has no place to show his passion, so he has to send his love to the landscape and lament over the wasted time, and the lines are full of disappointment. This lyric expresses the author’s love for the motherland and his disappointment with the reality.