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.
As the sun dies down I lie in the lake pavilion,
Heart disturbed and drawn by various affairs;
Sleep ruined, I wake and drink, intoxicated,
Sitting and waiting in the cool night air.
Rain in the pines has sent my rattan hat afloat,
The river wind has pierced my hempen clothes:
Walking by willows, never tired of this path,
The sand is soft like cotton in falling snow.
Original Chinese poem by Bai Juyi