A cicada sings in the autumn.
I, imprisoned by false accusation, am moved to great sorrow,
Which turns all my hair white.
How can I endure a sad song from your darting and flitting black head
Heavy dew 3 makes flying difficult;
Strong wind drowns a loud voice easily.
No one will believe in your integrity
Even though you eat wind and drink dew.
How can I convince people of my innocence?
Lo was one of the four great poets in the early T'ang dynasty. During Lo's
time, Empress Wu persecuted many innocent people. A rebel army led by General
Hsu tried to fight against the evil empress. Per the general's request, Lo wrote
for a famous essay which called people to arms by denouncing Empress Wu. Later,
the rebellion was crushed and Lo was captured. In this poem, Lo uses a cicada to
"Black head" refers to the cicada.
Heavy dew and strong wind imply that the political environment was
treacherous and that free expression was not allowed.