Chinese poet Du Mu, at 23, talked about how countries come and go in "Fu on the Epang Palace.” He attributed the demise of the Qin dynasty unified by Shi Huang not to how things naturally work but obviously to leadership at the royal court smudged with reckless extravagance. This loyal and righteous soul voiced concern that the weakened royal court in the Late Tang would invite the misfortune of the past without keeping in mind the lesson learned from history. Accidentally, Du Mu’s insightful work became known to one of the highest-ranking officials in charge of the state examination, opening the door for him to advance to a state position at a young age. However, it was ironic that he lost to an extravagant and pleasure-driven lifestyle. He confessed and wrote, “Getting out of 10 years of living a delightful and indulgent life in Yangzhou, I am only left with pathetic fame in the brothels.”
This poem was created by Li Yuan, who served as defense minister and provincial commander. When he stayed in Luoyang, he wrote it at a banquet held to treat Du Mu, who was then an inspector. The author mischievously asked, “Who on earth invited me, this noble gentleman?” as a joke to highlight his presence for the fun of it. However, the party ended with an awkward vibe shortly after the pleasure-driven visitor talked nonsense: “I’ve been told that a beautiful singer named Zi Yun lives here. Please let me take her.” He sounded so pretentious that everyone around the table- the party’s host, guests, and even beautiful courtesans- was taken aback. After the nonsensical request was unsurprisingly rejected, the poet must have wanted to get himself out of this awkwardness by making up this poem.