Li Bai Poem: The Ruined Capital of Yue – 李白《越中览古》









[1] 越中:隋初将会稽郡改为越州,唐代沿用越州名,即现在的浙江绍兴。这里是春秋时越国领地。

[2] 勾践:春秋越国君王,曾被同时期的吴国所灭。后来勾践卧薪尝胆,发愤图强,致力于国事、民事和军事,终于在被灭二十年后又灭掉吴国。

[3] 鹧鸪:产于我国南部,形似雉,体大如鸠。古人称它的鸣叫声为“钩辀格磔”,民间以为其叫声极像“行不得也哥哥”,所以古人常借其声以抒逐客流人之情,描绘荒芜凄凉之景。

The Ruined Capital of Yue

Li Bai

The King of Yue returned, having destroyed the foe;

His loyal men came home, with silken dress aglow.

His palace thronged with flower-like ladies fair;

Now we see but a flock of partridges flying there.

The poet sighs over the ruined palace of the King of Yue who revenged his defeat by overthrowing the Kingdom of Wu.


The poem “The Ruined Capital of Yue” is a poem written by Li Bai, a great poet of the Tang Dynasty. The first line of the poem states the meaning of the title and the specific content of the monument; the second and third lines are about the return of the warriors to their homes and the return of King Goujian to his palace; the final line suddenly turns to say that all that existed in the past is now only a few partridges flying. Through the contrast between the prosperity in the past and the desolation in front of us, the poem expresses the theme of change and impermanence of prosperity and decline.

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