Treading on Grass
Bowers are lost in mist;
Ferry dimmed in moonlight.
Peach Blossom Land ideal is beyond the sight.
Shut up in lonely inn, can I bear the cold spring?
I hear at lengthening sunset homebound cuckoos sing.
Mume blossoms sent by friends
And letters brought by post,
Nostalgic thoughts uncounted assail me oft in host.
The lonely river flows around the lonely hill.
Why should it southward flow, leaving me sad and ill?
This lyric is written in an inn after the poet’s banishment from place to place.
“Treading on Grass” is a lyric by Qin Guan, a Song Dynasty lyricist. It was written in March of the fourth year of Shaosheng (1097), when the writer first arrived in Chenzhou (now in Hunan). The lyricist was deported due to the party dispute, and he was in Chenzhou, so he felt painful mentally, so he wrote the lyric to express his feelings of being a guest in the hostel: the first piece is about the lonely and miserable environment in the exile; the second piece starts from the narration of the reality, and writes about the kind greetings and consolation from distant friends. The entire lyric is written in a euphemistic and twisted style, expressing the misery and grievances of a lost man, and revealing his dissatisfaction with the reality of politics.