Drinking Alone under the Moon (月下独酎)
Author: Li Bai (李白, 701-762, Tang Dynasty)
English translation: Xu, Yuanchong (许渊冲)
- Among the flowers, from a pot of wine
- I drink without a companion of mine.
- 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 spent away.
- I sing and the Moon lingers to hear my song;
- my shadow’s a mess while I dance along.
- Sober, we three remain cheerful and gay;
- drunken, we part and each may go his way.
- Our friendship will outshine all earthly love;
- Next time we’ll meet beyond the stars above.