Posted by: W. E. Poplaski | April 28, 2009

POEM OF THE DAY: Drinking Alone by Moonlight

by Li Bai (701 – 762).

 

Drinking Alone by Moonlight

 

A cup of wine, under the flowering trees;

I drink alone, for no friend is near.

Raising my cup I beckon the bright moon,

For her, with my shadow, will make three people.

The moon, alas, is no drinker of wine;                                           5

Listless, my shadow creeps about at my side.

Yet with the moon as friend and the shadow as slave

I must make merry before the Spring is spent.

To the songs I sing the moon flickers her beams;

In the dance I weave my shadow tangles and breaks.            10

While we were sober, three shared the fun;

Now we are drunk, each goes their way.

May we long share our eternal friendship,

And meet at last on the Cloudy River of the sky.

 

(Transl. by Arthur Waley)

 

Notes:

http://www.legacy1.net/lee_ba.html

http://web.whittier.edu/academic/english/Chinese/Libai.htm


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