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Golden Valley Park 1

Du, Mu (803 A.D.-852 A.D.)

The prosperity of the park dissipates like the fragrant dust 2.
The water flows relentlessly and the grass still grows like in Spring 3.
At sunset the east wind brings a bird's dirge 4.
The falling flowers are like the lady who jumped from the tower 5.




1 Golden Valley Park was built by Chong Shi during the West-Jin dynasty. It was located northwest of present day Lo-yang City in Henan Province. The preface to The Poetry of Golden Valley Park was written by Chong Shi. It says, "I have another mansion in Henan Province. It is located on an island in the Golden River Gorge. There are a clear spring and luxuriant trees around the estate. The park includes bamboo and cedar trees, as well as many fruit trees. It also contains all kinds of herbs. The park was beautifully landscaped."
    There is another poem of Du's, titled "The Inscription on the Temple of Mrs. Peach Blossom", that praises L -zhu. It says,
"In the harem of thin waists, the dewy peach blossom was new.
She had never spoken for several springs ("several springs" can refer to a woman who has married several times).
For what reason was the State of Xi destroyed?
It was a pity that the lady jumped from the tower in the Golden Valley."
Its interpretation is as follows:
"Someone told the King of the State of Chu about the beauty of the Queen of the State of Xi (i.e., Mrs. Peach Blossom). It led the King of Chu to destroy the State of Xi. The Queen of Xi became a captive and was sent to Chu's palace. Later, she bore two sons. However, she was silent every day and unhappy. The King of Chu asked her why. She replied, 'I am a woman who has served two husbands. Now that I am not allowed to die, I have nothing more to say.' There is a Chinese saying: A loyal woman does not serve two husbands. Mrs. Peach Blossom remained silent as a passive protest. L -zhu adopted a more radical solution. She committed suicide in response to a bully's shameless demand."

2 The Junior Counselor Concubine says, "Chong Shi spread the sawdust from aloes wood on his elephant-tusk bed. Then he asked his favorite dancers to dance on the bed. Those who were light and left no footprints behind would be awarded pearls." This story shows how extravagant Shi was.

3 This line says that history belittles Chong Shi's wealth and praises L -zhu's virtue. The park no longer exists. Only the water and grass remains. The word "Spring" refers to virtue.

4 "Dirge" refers to the death of L -zhu, Shi's favorite concubine.

5 The lady jumping from the tower refers to L -zhu (green pearl). The chapter titled "The Biography of Chong Shi" in The History of Jin Dynasty says, "L -zhu was Shi's favorite concubine. She was extremely beautiful and accomplished at playing the flute. Xiu Sun sent people to demand that Shi hand over L -zhu. Chong Shi said, 'L -zhu is my love. You cannot have her.' Consequently, Xiu Sun accused Shi of a false crime in front of King Lun. The king sent armed guards to arrest Shi. Shi said to L -zhu, 'I am being accused because of you.' L -zhu cried and said, ' am loyal to you and will commit suicide in front of the guards.' Then she jumped from a tower and died."