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)



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