The Queen of Qi harbored pent-up resentment toward her king and died. Her
remains 2 transform into a cicada, crying year after year in the
green shade of treed yards. One moment it suddenly cries on a cool branch. The
next it moves 3 to the depth of dim leaves. Again and again it pours
out its parting sorrow. The rain 4 passing by the west window seems
to lament that the zithers were tuned to play in the palace as the bells of
enemy horses rang through the air. The mirror is covered with dust. She is not
in the mood to apply makeup. For whom should she comb her lovely hair and
maintain her beauty?
The bronze god is tearful and laments that the plate previously held on his
palm was removed 5. He can no longer catch divine dew. The arrival of
the autumn astonished the cicada's tired wings. How many sunsets can its
withered body last in this world? The lingering sound is even more bitter. Why
does she hold a harp and play the sad melody "Qing Shang"? The willow branches
remind me of a thousand threads of my sorrow. I wish the spring wind could come
After the Southern Song dynasty perished, the mausoleums of six emperors
after Emperor Gao at Shao-xing City were robbed by the leader of the Buddhist
monks (zhen-qie [real god]), Lian Yang. Poet Jue Tang and many others collected
the bones and buried them. Yi-sun Wang, Mi Zhou, Yan Zhang, and eleven other
poets wrote poems to express their indignation using titles such as "The Incense
Made of Heavenly Dew", "White Lotus", "Lettuce", "Crabs", and "Cicada".
2 "Her remains" refers to the robbed mausoleums of emperors from the Southern
Bian-liang City was the capital of the Northern Song dynasty. After the
Kingdom of Jin captured Bian-liang City and destroyed the Northern Song dynasty,
Emperor Gao "moved" south and established Ling-an as the capital of the Southern
4 "The rain" symbolizes "tears".
This sentence says that China's treasure was stolen. It implies that the
mausoleums were robbed. It also implies that China's regime fell to the hands of
Mongolians. San-fu (three advisors to the emperor) Gu-shi (stories) says, "Emperor Wu
of the Han dynasty used bronze to build a plate ten feet in diameter to catch
divine dew. A god statue, 200 feet tall, held the plate in his outstretched
palm. People sought to become immortal by drinking the divine dew with jade
The preface of the poem, "The Bronze God Said Farewell to the Han Palace",
says, "In August of 233 A.D., Emperor Ming of the Wei dynasty ordered his
officials to send wagons westward and try to move the god holding the dew plate
from the Han Palace to his palace. When the officials removed the plate from the
statue, the god wept before he was carried away."
Wang wishes that the land of China occupied by Mongolians could return to
the hands of Chinese soon.