Down the blue mountain in the evening,
Moonlight was my homeward escort.
Looking back, I saw my path
Lie in levels of deep shadow....
I was passing the farm-house of a friend,
When his children called from a gate of thorn
And led me twining through jade bamboos
Where green vines caught and held my clothes.
And I was glad of a chance to rest
And glad of a chance to drink with my friend....
We sang to the tune of the wind in the pines;
And we finished our songs as the stars went down,
When, I being drunk and my friend more than happy,
Between us we forgot the world.
~ Li Bai
From a pot of wine among the flowers
I drank alone. There was no one with me --
Till, raising my cup, I asked the bright moon
To bring me my shadow and make us three.
Alas, the moon was unable to drink
And my shadow tagged me vacantly;
But still for a while I had these friends
To cheer me through the end of spring....
I sang. The moon encouraged me.
I danced. My shadow tumbled after.
As long as I knew, we were boon companions.
And then I was drunk, and we lost one another.
...Shall goodwill ever be secure?
I watch the long road of the River of Stars.
~ Li Bai
It is almost as hard for friends to meetAs for the morning and evening stars.Tonight then is a rare event,Joining, in the candlelight,Two men who were young not long agoBut now are turning grey at the temples....To find that half our friends are deadShocks us, burns our hearts with grief.We little guessed it would be twenty yearsBefore I could visit you again.When I went away, you were still unmarried;But now these boys and girls in a rowAre very kind to their father's old friend.They ask me where I have been on my journey;And then, when we have talked awhile,They bring and show me wines and dishes,Spring chives cut in the night-rainAnd brown rice cooked freshly a special way....My host proclaims it a festival,He urges me to drink ten cups --But what ten cups could make me as drunkAs I always am with your love in my heart?...Tomorrow the mountains will separate us;After tomorrow-who can say?
~ Du Fu
I dismount from my horse and I offer you wine,And I ask you where you are going and why.And you answer: "I am discontentAnd would rest at the foot of the southern mountain.So give me leave and ask me no questions.White clouds pass there without end."
~ Wang Wei
Now that the sun has set beyond the western range,Valley after valley is shadowy and dim....And now through pine-trees come the moon and the chill of evening,And my ears feel pure with the sound of wind and waterNearly all the woodsmen have reached home,Birds have settled on their perches in the quiet mist....And still -- because you promised -- I am waiting for you, waiting,Playing lute under a wayside vine.
~ Meng Haoran
In Chinese literature, the Tang period (618-907) is considered the golden age of Chinese poetry. Tang Shi San Bai Shou [300 Tang Poems] is a compilation of poems from this period made around 1763 by Heng-tang-tui-shi [Sun Zhu] of the Qing dynasty.
English Translation : Witter Bynner