Prelude to Water Melody
Frost falls and quiet is the azure sky,
The west wind blows and hastens autumn high.
At first its song shivers me,
At midnight it enters the plane tree.
I rise to mount the city wall and gaze
To find mountains and rivers stretch for miles in haze.
What can I do
But to get drunk with you?
Drum beats on beats announce daylight,
The cavaliers bend their bow in flight.
The end of the year draws nigh,
In laughter guests would vie.
They ask me, old
If I can still be bold
As in days gone by.
Can I still ride my horse
And try my force?
Could I be like the archer who with ease
Would twang the string
With his fingers and bring
Down two wild geese
From the high sky?
I regret that old now. I cannot draw my bow
But turn my head to the northwest in the cloud
And long for heroes proud.
The poet writes this lyric on seeing an archer make three hits without a miss.
“Prelude to Water Melody · Archery” is a song written by Ye Mengde, a lyricist of the Southern Song Dynasty. The first line depicts a sluggish autumn scene, looking up to the heights to see a thousand miles of Guanhe. The next line describes the scene of practicing shooting, lamenting his aging and expressing his patriotic sincerity. The whole lyric is a blend of scenes and scenes, and the writing is majestic, depressing and robust, with a bold style.