Nostalgia During a Night Mooring at Niu-zhu Mountain 1

Li, Bai (701 A.D.-762 A.D.)

In the night at Niu-zhu Mountain facing the Western River 2
There is not a single cloud in the navy sky.
I step onto a boat and watch the autumn moon.
I recall General Xie 3 in vain.
Like Yuan, I can also recite my elegant poems,
But I cannot find a dignitary like Xie who can appreciate my talent.
Tomorrow morning I will hoist the sail.
The maple leaves will fall like tears.

1 The current location of Niu-zhu Mountain is northwest of Dong-tu County in Anhui Province. The northern part of the mountain extends into the river, so this part was called Cai-shi-ji (quarry mountain).

2 In ancient times, people called the section of the Yangtze River from Jiangxi Province to Nanjing the Western River.

3 The chapter titled “Literature” in Modern Events says, “On a moon-lit night, when General Shang Xie rode a boat passing by Niu-zhu Mountain, he heard someone on another boat reciting poetry. The general loved the poem and wondered who wrote it. After he found out that the reader was Hong Yuan who was reciting his own epic poem, he invited Yuan to come over. They had an animated talk and became good friends.