Poems of Xue Tao
Seeing Off Officer Lu
Jade ramparts below mountains, night of blowing snow.
The Brocade Guard, outside the walls, are dying.
I think, in their graves, old princes ask each other,
Gazing at the gates of Wei, was it worth it all?
The war, in this poem, must be close at hand. Not so close that Officer Lu cannot take his leave. But close enough to know of those dying nearby. Brocade officers (锦官) may be the Gold Brocade Guard which were the emperor's elite troops. The last line refer's to the Foreigner's Gate (夷门) in Daliang, which had been the capital of the Kingdom of Wei, and asks how the princes feel about their old favors. If I had had a classical Chinese education and had read the classics since I was seven, I would know exactly what she is alluding to. More death in the past, most likely.