The Storm on the Fourth Day of the Eleventh Moon
By Lu You
Forlorn in a cold bed, I’m grieved not for my plight,
Still thinking of recovering our lost frontiers.
Hearing the stormy wind blow rain at dead of night,
I dreamed of frozen river crossed by cavaliers.
His poem was written on the 4th day of the 11th lunar month in the third year of the Shaoxi period of Emperor Guangzong in the Song Dynasty (A.D.1192 ), when the poet was already 67 years old and stayed idle at his home village after he had been dismissed from office for the third time. Generally, people at this age and in such a situation would be dispirited, pessimistic and fatalistic. Lu You, however, inspired by the patriotic zeal burning in his heart, was far above the average and never felt grieved about himself all the time. Although getting on for seventy, he was still willing to garrison the frontiers for his country. As the capitulators held the power, he had no way to serve his country and it was hard for him to fulfill his lofty aspirations, so he had to realize his ideal of serving the country during his dream. At night when it was raining and blowing hard, and most people felt melancholy with the wailing wind and weeping rain, the poet, however, went off to dreamland together with the sound of wind and rain. In his dream, he put on his war robe and rode his horse, galloping across the frozen river of the North and fighting in the battlefield for the safeguard of his country. It’s admirable for a sixty-seven years old man to cherish such heroic aspirations of serving the country. This poem is of profound and distinctly practical significance, to which. Natural and clever romantic style of writing is applied. Many soldiers love this poem deeply, and often quote the line “Iron-clad horses over frozen rivers come charging into my dreams” to express their lofty sentiments and high aspirations of longing to fight a bloody battle and making contributions to their motherland.