Bitter Love

Bitter Love

Li Bai (701-762)
The beauty sits behind a jeweled screen,
Lamenting him with lovely, furled brows.
When all I see are cheeks stained wet with tears,
I wonder, where’s the one who broke his vows?

Thoughts on a Quiet Night

Thoughts on a Quiet Night

Li Bai (701-762)
Before my bed the bright moon shines its light,
Perhaps the frost now covers all the ground;
I lift my head to see the shining moon,
I bow my head to see my native town.
Jìng Yè Sī
Lǐ Bái

Farewell to Meng Haoran

My dear old friend who’s parting West
Beneath the Yellow Towers;
While falling on the Yangzhou lands
Are mists and springtime flowers.
Your orphan boat’s a distant shade,
That sails where blue skies go;
I look upon the water tides—
Until the end they flow.
By Li Bai, tr. from the Chinese by Frank Watson


李 白

Sending Off My Cousin, Beyond the Castle by the Southern Moon

At home we fenced with traveling swords,
Cutting at this and that like idle lords;
The two of us, like towns around a turn,
Will drift apart as soon as I return.
Riding horses over the moon bridge south,
We follow the light to the road fork’s mouth;
Arriving at last at Shandong Mountain,
Memories flow like an endless fountain.
Blossoms scatter about this fragrant plot
As we drink until our sense is shot;
Drunk and happy, we rise with force,
But cannot climb back on the horse.

Gazing at Heaven’s Gate

The River Chu has split the hills in two
To send the jade-brushed water east and back,
Around the two opposing hills anew
As a lonely boat sits still in a sunlit crack.
Original Chinese poem by Li Bai

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