A verse in praise says:
His literary and martial skills excelled the common lot.
With undaunted valor, he swept clean the foul and demonic energies.
Although he was like Zhang Liang, who had plans to unify the country,
He never met with someone like the Governor of Pei,
Who managed to bring peace to his countrymen's hearts.
He led a busy life, riding astride his war horse.
But the roaming chilin* was born at the wrong time—how unfortunate!
The General never knew when he would be able to return to his hometown.
He grew old and lived out his remaining years in Taiwan, reminiscing over past causes.
*chilin: a fabulous animal resembling the deer said to appear only in times of peace and prosperity.
His literary and martial skills excelled the common lot. He showed exceptional achievement in both letters and in the art of war, surpassing his peers. With undaunted valor, he swept clean the foul and demonic energies. He had a vast and magnanimous mind, and felt indignant at the Japanese occupation of Manchuria. Therefore he was determined to defeat the Japanese. Although he was like Zhang Liang, who had plans to unify the country. He was like Zhang Liang of the Han Dynasty, in that he had the wisdom and strategy to pacify the country. However, he never met with someone like the Governor Pei, who managed to bring peace to his countrymen's hearts. It was a shame he did not encounter anyone who truly recognized him. Unlike Zhang Liang, who ran into Liu Bang, the Governor of Pei, and helped him found the Han Dynasty, General Li did not meet with someone who could utilize his vast ambitions.
He had talent, but not the opportunity to use it. He led a busy life, riding astride his war horse. Cardinal Paul Yu Bin had a high esteem for the General's talent. He remarked that there were only two and a half soldiers in Manchuria, and that General Li was one of them. However, the general never had the chance to unfurl his grand ambition. He was like the roaming chilin, born at the wrong time—how unfortunate! During the time of the sagely rulers Yao and Shun, the chilin appeared in the world. When Confucius saw people capture a chilin, he was moved to compose the "Song of the Captured Chilin," which goes,
During the time of Tang and Yu, the chi-lin and phoenix roamed freely. But now is no longer those days of old—how could one seek the chilin? Ah, chilin,chilin, how my heart grieves!
General Li was also like a chilin, born at the wrong time, and so he felt great regrets in his heart. The General never knew when he would be able to return to his hometown.
He wrote a poem about his hometown in Manchuria:
The Black River flowed for a thousand years.
The White Mountain towers for ten thousand ages.
My house was tucked away in the secluded foothills.
Plowing the fields, digging a well, we enjoyed simple pleasures.
In my youth, I threw away my writing brush to join the army;
In my old age, I sojourn in the Island of Peng (Taiwan).
When will I return to my hometown,
And run around the firmiana tree in the yard?
By his old home, there was an aged firmiana tree. He used to sit with his mother beneath that firmiana tree and chat, enjoying the breeze. He reminisced about those years of close family ties. He often thought back, wondering when he would return to that firmiana tree and chat with his mother. When I heard that poem, I chastised him, saying, "You are spineless. You haven't had enough being someone's son for an entire lifetime, and you are still planting causes for the future—you are spineless!"
He grew old and lived out his remaining years in Taiwan. He grew old and died in Taiwan, reminiscing over past causes. He felt that he probably did not plant very good causes in the past, which was why in this life he encountered many hardships and vicissitudes.