李白 (701-762) Li Bai
行路难 蜀道难 月下独酌 梦游天姥吟留别 越女词 登金陵凤凰台 劳劳亭 宣州谢［月兆］楼饯别校书叔云 送友人 赠汪伦 早发白帝城 越中览古 闻王昌龄左迁龙标,遥有此寄 夜宿山寺 忆秦娥
Hard Is The Road Of The World
Pure wine in golden cup costs ten thousand coins – good!
Choice dish in a plate of jade is worth as much – nice food!
Pushing aside my cup and chopsticks, I can’t eat;
Drawing my sword and looking round, I stamp my feet.
I can’t cross Yellow River: ice has stopped its flow;
I can’t climb Mount Taihang: the sky is blind with snow.
I can but poise a fishing pole beside a stream
Or set sail for the sun like a sage in a dream.
Hard is the way,
Hard is the way.
Don’t go astray!
A time will come to ride the wind and cleave the waves;
I’ll set my cloud-white sail and cross the sea, which raves.
Hard Is The Road To Shu
Oho! Behold the road to Shu so steep, so high!
To take the road is harder than to climb the sky.
Since the two pioneers
Put Kingdom Shu in order,
Have passed forty-eight thousand years,
And few since then have passed its border.
There’s a bird track from Great White mountain in the West,
Leading to Eyebrow Mountain’s crest.
The crumbled mountain killed the brave workmen,
Along the cliffs a rocky path was hacked then.
Above stand peaks too high for the sun to pass o’er;
Below the torrents run back and forth, churn and roar.
E’en the immortal crane can’t fly across;
We find all skilful gibbons at a loss.
The Green Mud Ridge makes tortuous grimaces;
Around the top we take nine turns each hundred paces.
Looking up breathless, I could touch the stars nearby;
Beating the breast, I sink aground with long, long sigh.
When may I come back from this journey to the west?
How can I climb up dangerous path and mountain crest,
Where I can hear on ancient trees but sad birds wail,
And see the female birds fly, followed by the male?
And hear home-going cuckoos weep
Beneath the moon in mountains deep?
To go to Shu is harder than to climb the sky;
If you heard this, your cheeks would lose their rosy dye.
Between the sky and peaks is not a foot’s space;
Ancient pines hang head down from the cliff’s surface;
Cataracts and torrents dash on boulders under,
Roaring like thousands of echoes of thunder.
So dangerous these places are!
Alas! Why should I come here from afar?
Sword Path between the cliffs is narrow, steep and high,
Guarded by one
And forced by none.
Are wolves and pards,
Man-eating tigers at daybreak,
At dusk blood-sucking snake.
We might make merry in the Town of Silk, I know,
But I would rather homeward go.
To go to Shu is harder than to climb the sky;
I turn and westward look with long, long sigh.
Drinking Alone Under The Moon
Among the flowers from a pot of wine
I drink alone beneath the bright moonshine.
I raise my cup to invite the moon, who blends
Her light with my shadow and we’re three friends.
The moon does not know how to drink her share;
In vain my shadow follows me here and there.
Together with them for the time I stay
And make merry before spring’s spend away.
I sing the moon to linger with my song;
My shadow disperses as I dance along.
Sober, we three remain cheerful and gay;
Drunken, we part and each goes his way.
Our friendship will outshine all earthly love;
Next time we’ll meet beyond the stars above.
Mount Skyland Ascended In A Dream – A song Of Farewell
Of fairy isles seafarers speak,
‘Mid dimming mist and surging waves, so hard to seek;
Of Skyland southerners are proud,
Perceivable through fleeting or dispersing cloud.
Mount Skyland threatens heaven, massed against the sky,
Surpassing the Five Peaks and dwarfing Mount Red Town.
Mount Heaven’s Terrace, five hundread thousand feet high,
Nearby to the southeast, appears to crumble down.
Longing in dreams for southern land, one night
I flew o’er Mirror Lake in moonlight.
My shadow’s followed by moonbeams
Until I reach Shimmering Streams,
Where hermitage of Master Xie * can still be seen
And biggons wail o’er rippling water green.
I put on Xie’s pegged boot,
One on each foot,
And scale the mountain ladder to blue cloud.
On eastern cliff I see
The sun rise from the sea
And in midair I hear sky cock crow loud.
The footpath meanders ‘mid a thousand crages in the vale;
I’m lured by rocks and flowers when the day turns pale.
Bears roar and dragons howl and thunders the cascade;
Deep forests quake and ridges tremble; they’re afraid.
From dark, dark cloud comes rain;
On pale, pale waves mists plane.
Oh, lighting flashes
And thunder rumbles;
With stunning crashes
The mountain crumbles.
The stone gate of a fairy cavern under
Suddenly breaks asunder.
So blue, so deep, so vast appears an endless sky,
Where sun and moon shine on gold and silver terraces high.
Clad in the rainbow, riding on the wind,
The Lords of Clouds descend in a procession long.
Their chariots drawn by phoenix disciplined,
And tigers playing for them a zither song,
Row upon row, like fields of hemp, immortals throng.
Suddenly my heart and soul stirred, I
Awake with long, long sighs.
I find my head on pillow lies
And fair visions have gone by.
Likewise all human joys will pass away
Just as east-flowing water of olden day.
I’ll take my leave of you, not knowing for how long;
I’ll tend a white deer among
The grassy slopes of the green hill
So that I may ride it to famous mountains at will.
How can I stoop and bow before the men in power
and so deny myself a happy hour?
Song Of The Southern Lass
The waves of Mirror Lake look like moonbeams;
The maiden’s dress like snow on waterside.
The rippling dress vies with the rippling stream;
We know not which by which is beautified.
On Phoenix Terrace At Jinling
On Phoenix Terrace once phoenixes came to sing;
The birds are gone, but still roll on the river’s waves.
The ruined palace’s buried ‘neath the weeds in spring;
The ancient sages in caps and gowns all lie in graves.
The three-peak’d mountain is half lost in azure sky;
The two-fork’d stream by Egret Isle is kept apart.
As floating clouds can veil the bright sun from the eye,
Imperial Court, now out of sight, saddens my heart.
There is no place that oftener breaks the heart
Than this pavilion seeing people part.
The wind of early spring knows parting grieves;
It will not green the roadside willow leaves.
The Chinese had the custom of breaking off a green willow branch by the roadside and presenting it to the departing friend. The last line implies that the wind of early spring is unwilling to let friends sever.
Farewell To Uncle Yun, The Imperial Librarian, At The Xie Tiao Pavilion In Xuanzhou
What left me yesterday
Can be retained no more;
What worries me today
Are the times for which I feel sore.
In autumn wind for miles and miles the wild geese fly.
Let’s follow them with eyes and drink in tower high.
Your writing’s forcible, like ancient poets, while
Mine is in Junior Xie’s direct and easy style.
Both of us have ambitions high;
We’d bring the moon down from the sky.
Cut running water with a sword, it will faster flow;
Drink wine to drown your sorrow, it will heavier grow.
If we despair in our lifetime of all affairs,
Tomorrow let us sail away with loosened hairs.
Farewell To A Friend
Green mountains bar the northern sky;
White water girds the eastern town.
Here is the place to say good-bye;
You’ll drift like lonely thisledown.
With floating cloud you’ll float away;
Like parting day I’ll part from you.
We wave as you start on your way;
Our steeds still neigh, “Adieu, adieu!”
To Wang Lun
I, Li Bai, sit aboard a ship about to go
When suddenly on shore your farewell songs o’erflow.
However deep the Lake of Peach Blossom may be,
It’s not so deep, O Wang Lun! as your love for me.
Leaving White Emperor Town At Dawn
Leaving at dawn the White Emperor crowned with cloud,
I’ve sailed a thousand li through canyons in a day.
With monkeys’ sad adieus the riverbanks are loud;
My skiff has left ten thousand mountains far away.
Ruins Of The Capital Of Yue *
The King of Yue returned, having destroyed the foe; *
His loyal men came home, with silken dress aglow;
His palace overflowered with flowerlike ladies fair.
Now we see but a flock of partridges flying there.
* The King of Yue was defeated by the King of Wu in 494 B.C., but he conquered the Kingdom of Wu in 473 B.C.
To Wang Chang-ling, Banished To The West
All willow down has fallen and sad cuckoos cry
To hear you banished southwestward beyond Five Streams.
I would confide my sorrow to the moon on high,
For it will follow you west of the Land of Dreams.
The Summit Temple
A hundred feet high the Summit Temple stands,
Where I could pluck the stars with my own hands.
At dead of night I dare not speak aloud
For fear of waking dwellers in the cloud.
Tune: “Dream Of A Palace Maid”
The flute is mute;
Waking from moonlit dream, she feels grief acute.
O moon! O flute!
Year after year, do you not grieve
To see ‘neath willows people leave!
All’s merry on the plain on Mountain-Climbing Day,
But she receives no word from ancient northwest way.
O’er ancient way
The sun declines; the west wind falls
O’er royal tombs and palace walls.