The Boatman's Song on the Lanxi River
This is a Tang poem by Dai Shulun.
The cold moon above the willowy stream resembles a brow in shape,
As in a mirror is seen Yue's mountainous landscape.
For three days on the Lan fall rains of the blooming peaches,
And the carps at midnight gaily jump onto the beaches.
The poem describes the charming landscapes on the Lanxi River on a spring evening and the fisherman’s response to the scene. Gentle and graceful in style, the first two lines picture the moonlit trees, the willowy river and the green mountains reflected in the water. The “cold” reminds people of the lingering chilly spring and the word “mirror”, the calm river in the moonlight. However, the third and fourth lines change the tone entirely by employing the popular weather proverb that sounds easy and familiar, revealing a generally accepted natural phenomenon: after a fall of spring rain, the river begins to teem with fish. In spite of the different tones, the first couplet and the second make a harmonious picture in which the fisherman enjoys fishing by the riverside on a spring night.