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The Rainbow Upstream

Yue, Fei 1 (1103-1141)

    My anger 2 makes my hair stand on end and almost push off my hat. In front of the banister against which I lean, the drizzle has stopped. As I look up at the sky and emit a long roar, my mind is greatly agitated. My achievements of thirty years are like dust and dirt. Only living in the front line a thousand miles away may my ambition be fulfilled. Do not make light of my goal. Otherwise, I may regret to no avail when my hair turns gray.

    The disgrace suffered during Jing-kang Period 3 is not yet being avenged. When will my resentment 4 extinguished? I want to lead long chariots to break through the pass of He-lan Mountain 5. Our morale is so high that hunger could lead us to devour the enemy's flesh. Our killing spirit is so strong that thirst could lead us to drink the enemy's blood. Let us make a fresh start toward our goal: Recover lost territory to pay homage to the palace.

1 Peng-ju was Fei Yue's other first name. He was a native of Tang-yin City of Xiang County and a subordinate officer of Commander Ze Zong. He defeated Jin's troops many times. Emperor Gao wrote "Loyal Fei Yue" on a flag and sent the flag to Yue as a reward and encouragement. The Kingdom of Jin had a powerful cavalry. They harnessed horses together in groups of three using chains to build a crushing force. Both soldiers and horses were armored. General Fei Yue defeated Jin's cavalry at Zhu-xian-zheng City by using sickles to cut the horses' legs. He prepared to move north and recover lost territory, but the prime minister, Gui Qing, hampered his plan. The evil Qing summoned Yue back to the palace and framed him. Yue was put into prison and sentenced to death. This poem was written during his imprisonment.

2 "My anger" refers to Yue's anger about the invasion by the enemy the Kingdom of Jin.

3 "The disgrace suffered during Jing-kang Period" refers to the capture of Emperor Hui and Emperor Qing of the Northern Song dynasty by Jin's troops.

4 "My resentment" refers to Yue's resentment for the enemy's invasion.

5 He-lan Mountain is located in Ning-xia Province.