Drinking Alone under the Moon
Amid 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 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.
Shui Diao Ge Tou
To the Tune of Prelude to Water Melody
On the Mid-Autumn Festival of the year Bingchen I drank happily till dawn and wrote this in my cups while thinking of Ziyou.
Bright moon, when was your birth?
Wine cup in hand, I ask the deep blue sky;
Not knowing what year it is tonight
In those celestial palaces on high.
I long to fly back on the wind,
Yet dread those crystal towers, those courts of jade,
Freezing to death among those icy heights!
Instead I rise to dance with my pale shadow;
Better off, after all, in the world of men.
Rounding the red pavilion,
Stooping to look through gauze windows,
She shines on the sleepless.
The moon should know no sadness;
Why, then, is she always full when dear ones are parted?
For men, the grief of parting, joy of reunion,
Just as the moon wanes and waxes, is bright or dim;
Always some flaw ?and so it has been since of old.
My one wish for you, then, is long life
And a share in this loveliness far, far away!
Looking at the Moon and Longing for One Far Away
Over the sea grows the moon bright;
We gaze on it far, far apart.
Lovers complain of long, long night;
They rise and long for the dear heart.
Candle blown out, fuller is light;
My coat put on, I’m moist with dew.
As I can’t hand you moonbeams white,
I go to bed to dream of you.