|Yu Mei Ren|
Poem by Li Yu (李煜 937AD to 978AD), the last ruler of
雕欄玉砌應猶在,———Diao lan2 yu4 qi4 ying yu2 zai4
When will the beautiful scene of spring flowers and autumn moon end?
The carved balustrades and marble steps should still be there,
This poem was written by Li Yu.
The background of the poem.
In 937AD Li Sheng (李昇) founded the Kingdom of Nantang (南唐 937AD to 975AD) with his capital was at Jinling (金陵 present day Nanjing 南京 in Jiangsu province). He changed the name of Jinling to Jiangning Fu (江寧府). Li Sheng died in 943AD and was succeeded by his eldest son Li Jing (李璟). He was crowned Yuanzong Emperor (元宗皇帝).
In 960AD Zhao Kuangyin (趙匡胤) founded the Song Dynasty (960AD to 1279AD) and was crowned Emperor Taizu (太祖皇帝). Li Jing, the ruler of Nantang (南唐) died in 961 and was succeeded by his 6th son Li Yu who was a man of letters and excelled in painting and calligraphy. He was also interested in music. In 975AD, Zhao Kuang Yin, the first Emperor of the Song Dynasty attacked Nantang. Li Yu, the ruler of Nantang, surrendered without a fight. Li Yu was honoured with the title of Weiming Hou (違命侯 or the Marquis of Disobedience).
The following year Zhao Kuangyin died and was succeeded by his younger brother, Zhao Guangyi (趙光義) who was crowned Emperor Taizong (太宗皇帝 976AD to 997AD) Zhao Guangyi changed Li Yu’s title to 隴西郡公 or the Duke of the Prefectire of Longxi.
In 978AD, on the night of 7th day of 7th Month , his birthday, Li Yu composed this poem and he called it "虞美人 Yu Mei Ren"
春花秋月何時了?—Chun hua qiu yue4 he2 shi le?
Having composed it, Li Yu asked his wife Xiao Zhou (小周) to sing. She was
The two lines showed that Li Yu was still nostalgically thinking of his
When Li Yu died he was only 42 years old. Generations later people compiled Li Yu’s poems and his father’s poems into a book titled "The poems by the two rulers of the Kingdom of Nantang 南唐二主詞". Recently people compiled the forty odd poems by Li Yu into a book and called it "The poems by the last ruler of Nantang 李後主詞".