Quiet Night Thoughts
Before my bed
Like frost on the ground:
I lift my head
to watch the bright moon,
Lowering my head
I dream I am home.
Alone, looking at the Mountain
The birds have gone, all flown away;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We regard each other – and never tire
Just the mountain and I.
Homeless, exiled, I climb Sin-Ping tower.
Now late in the dying year,
The sun declining in the sky
The dark river flows gloomy and slow.
A cloud glides over the mountain forests ;
Wild geese fly away downriver.
From here I see ten thousand miles,
But I see no end to my sorrows.
A Quiet Night Thought
Moonlight before my bed
Perhaps frost on the ground.
Lift my head and see the moon
Lower my head and pine for home.
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 he, with my shadow, will make three men.
The moon, alas, is no drinker of wine;
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 break.
While we were sober, three shared the fun;
Now we are drunk, each goes his way.
May we long share our odd, inanimate feast,
And meet at last on the Cloudy River of the sky.
- Poems by Li Po. Translations by various persons, interpretations by me.
- Spring Evening Banquet at the Peach and Pear Blossom Garden