The Moon over the West River
Wavelet on wavelet glimmers by the shore;
Cloud on cloud dimly appears in the sky.
Unsaddled is my white-jadelike horse;
Drunk, asleep in the sweet grass I’ll lie.
My horse’s hoofs may break, I’m afraid,
The breeze-rippled brook paved by moonlit jade.
I tether my horse to a bough of green willow
Near the bridge where I pillow
My head on arms and sleep till the cuckoo’s song awakes
A spring daybreak.
The poet describes the happiness of his sleep after drinking.
Xijiang Yue (The Moon over the West River) is a lyric by Su Shi, a writer of the Song Dynasty. The first piece is about what the lyricist saw and heard on the road and his drunkenness, while the second piece expresses the lyricist’s pity for the beautiful scenery. This lyric depicts a poetic and pictorial picture of an earthly fairyland on a moonlit night with a clear and ethereal state of mind like the bright moon on an empty mountain, expressing a realm of oblivion and transcendence, and expressing the author’s optimism, open-mindedness, and his heart to deal with adversity with good fortune. The whole lyric is a blend of emotion and scenery, with an ethereal and majestic realm that is endlessly evocative.