Xia Wanchun 1631-1647

A literary prodigy who started writing poetry at the age of seven. After his father's suicide over failure in fighting the Manchus, Xia sold off the family assets to fund another campaign in support of the princes of the Ming dynasty. This was crushed and Xia, at the age of sixteen, was arrested and beheaded for rebellion by the Manchu conquerors. In his poetry Xia gives expression to his political aspiration and his experience in the battlefield. Some of his most melancholic work is collected in Nanguan cao [Poetry Drafts on the Best of the South] in which he mourns his comrades-in-arms who lost their lives in the fight against the Manchus.