Poems of Bao Junhui
Mountain Gate Moon
Brightness of a high, small autumn moon
Shines northwards where the Great Wall meets the sea.
Distant fortress is the first to refill with light
As wind pushes cloud after cloud across the moon.
Marching soldiers gaze ever towards their home.
Warhorses skitter at their own wardrums.
Sadness of north wind lays flat the grasses,
Prisoners all on dark barbarian sands.
Frost covers the scabbards of the weapons.
Winds beat down the banners on the plain.
But, all day, paying our respects here at the palace
The sound of clashing copper mess pots goes unheard.
This poem reads like an imperial official's criticism of the throne. But such a poem is out of place coming from a consort's brush. So one would think it was a private poem. Then how did it become one of Bao Junhui's few poems to survive? And where do the details of a military expedition to the northeast come from? While there would be some camp-women on the march, the emperor would not be there, nor would his consorts. Bao Junhui does not accept the limitations her context and society attempt to place on her.
I'm sorry there are not more poems out there by Bao Junhui. These few we have speak for her extraordinary intelligence. She should have a better fate than this.