Poem: Xi Shi the Beauty 唐诗《西施》
作者： 来源：易学汉语 2013-05-13 14:40:14.000
Jiāguó xīngwáng zì yǒu shí,
Wú rén hékǔ yuàn Xīshī.
Xīshī ruò jiě qīng Wúguó,
Yuèguó wáng lái yòu shì shuí?
Xi Shi was one of the famous Four Beauties in China’s history. She was given by Gou Jian, King of State Yue, as a gift to Fu Chai, King of State Wu, and became Fu Chai’s favorite concubine. Bewitched by the beauty of Xi Shi, Fu Chai forgot all about his responsibilities and gradually, Wu dwindled and was conquered by the State of Yue in the end.
The rise and fall of a nation has its appointed time according to pattern. Why should the rulers of Wu blame and despise Xi Shi for the fall of their nation? If this beautiful woman is truly the reason for the decline and fall of Wu, then who is to blame for the decay of the State of Yue?
The poet here is expressing his opinion about history. Traditionally, it had been considered that the downfall of Wu was attributable to Xi Shi’s charm. But the poet viewed it in a different way. He considered it the fault of the emperor that the state was overthrown and Xi Shi had nothing to do with it. Here “吴人” refers not to the common people of Wu, but the rulers.