It is the ninth year of Yonghe (A.C.353), also known as the year of Guichou in terms of theChinese lunar calendar.On one of those late spring days, we gather at the Orchid Pavilion,which is located in Shanyin County, Kuaiji Prefecture, for dispelling bad luck and praying forgood fortune.The attendees of the gathering are all virtuous intellectuals, varying from youngto old. Endowed with great mountains and lofty peaks, Orchid Pavilion has flourishing branchesand high bamboo bushes all around,
together with a clear winding brook engirdled, which canthereby serve the guests by floating the wine glasses on top for their drinking. Seated by thebank of brook, people will still regale themselves right by poetizing their mixed feelings andemotions with wine and songs, never mind the absence of melody from string and windinstruments.
It is such a wonderful day, with fresh air and mild breeze.Facing upwards to the blue sky, webehold the vast immensity of the universe; when bowing our heads towards the ground, weagain satisfy ourselves with the diversity of species.Thereby we can refresh our views and letfree our souls, with luxuriant satisfaction done to both ears and eyes. How infinite the cheeris!
People keep coming and going, and life soon rushes to its end. Some people prefer to sharetheir proud aspiration and lofty goals with close friends indoors, while some others choose tofollow their interest and free their minds wherever and whenever they like. May characters varyfrom person to person, or some would rather stay peaceful while others like to live restlessly,they will all become delighted and satisfied once they meet something pleasant, so cheerfulthat they get unaware of their imminent old age.However, when they get tired of their oldfancies that they’ve already experienced, and sentiment correspondingly accompanies thechange of situation, all sorts of complicated feelings will well up in the heart, too. Isn’t itthought-provoking that the happiness we used to enjoy passes by without leaving a singletrace, let alone that the length of life is subject to the fate, and death is inevitable for anybodyin the end? Just as some ancient man once put it, “Death also deserves our attention, like whatlife does.”, so how can we restrain ourselves from grieving?