* Yueh Fei was the national warrior hero in fighting back the invasion of the Jin Tribe. He is one of the best known patriotic generals in China's history.The Jin Tribe invaded Song Dynasty and kidnapped two Song emperors and imposed conditions on the government which would have been unacceptable to all patriots. Unfortunately the Prime Minister of the time, Qin Guei, was prepared to buy a delusory peace at the price of surrendering Song territory. Yue Fei, one of the military commander then, attempted to continue the fight but was recalled by the Prime Minister, imprisoned and put to death in 1141 at a time when the Government was prepared to abandon all the territory north of the Huai River, the conquests in Honan by Yue Fei were forgotten, and the Song Dynasty fell from this moment into a state of intolerable weakness and decline. Yue is also remembered for the inscription on his back. According to the legend, four Chinese characters, "Jing zhong bao guo", were inscribed with a hot-iron on Yo Fei's back by his mother, meaning "With the utmost loyalty save the State." He was canonized in 1174.
** This poem was written in 1133 when Yue was 31 years old.
*** Li is one of the Chinese traditional measurement units, about 1/3 of a mile.
**** This line refers to the year of 1126 when the Jin army entered the capital of Song Dynasty and captured the two emperors and took them to the far Northeast. That was known as "the shame of Jing Kang" in history. Jing Kang was the name of the imperial calendar. Each emperor had a particular name to count the years while he was on the throne.
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