The Ruined Capital of Yue
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.