How deep is the expansive darkness of the sky! How can I endure the entangled
sorrow woven by drizzle and skewed wind? Everything in China is nothing to my
experienced eyes. This is because I rely on tall towers to see all the great
autumnal scenery of manifold cliffs. Even though a scholar with gray hair is
sorrowful for the Divine Land 2, he will not shed tears toward Niu
Mountain 3. When I try to pursue the past, it disappears without any
In my youth, I was proud of my writing brush which could raise readersí
spirits to the skies 4. Now my heroic spirit fades. My mind is filled
with desolation. I lament that few contemporary writers are creative. They love
to talk about the maniac in the Southern dynasty 5 and tell the same
story of the worn hat year after year. We should drink wine as we gaze at the
yellow flowers. Otherwise, the flowers will laugh at our lonesomeness. The wild
geese fly north 6. The sun sets in the west
On the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, Chinese
people used to climb mountains, drink wine and delight in observing
chrysanthemums to celebrate the Chong-yang Festival.
The Divine Land refers to the northwest part of China (present day Henan
and Shaanxi Provinces) which was occupied by the Jin dynasty, the enemy of the
Southern Song dynasty, during Liuís time.
Niu (cattle) Mountain was located south of present day Lin-zi County in
Shandong Province. When King Jing of the State of Qi visited Niu Mountain, he
gazed at his capital in the north and shed tears. See Ying Yan's Spring-fall.
Origins explains, "The tears of King Jing of Qi were caused by his
After Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty read the poems of Xiang-ru Si-ma, he
had a feeling of euphoria as if he was riding clouds.
The manic of the Southern dynasty refers to Jia Meng of Jin dynasty. He was
a councilor of General Wen Huan. They once climbed Long (dragon) Mountain during
the Chong-yang Festival. Meng did not notice that the wind blew his hat off his
This sentence refers to Liu's longing for the Divine Land.
This sentence refers to how fast the time flies. It expresses and reveals
that Liu feels becoming old. A reader would feel pity at Liu's acknowledgement
that his heroic spirit is fading as he becomes old.