10 Poems of Li Po

Alone and Drinking Under the Moon
Climbing West of Lotus Flower Peak
Drinking with someone in the Mountains
Going Up Yoyang Tower
Good Old Moon
Looking for a Monk and Not Finding Him
On Kusu Terrace
Song of the Jade Cup
The Cold Clear Spring at Nanyang
Visiting a Taoist on Taitien Mountain
Alone and Drinking Under the Moon
Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting   _
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just   _
the three of us; then I sigh
for the moon cannot drink,
and my shadow goes emptily along   _
with me never saying a word;
with no other friends here, I can
but use these two for company;   _
in the time of happiness, I
too must be happy with all
around me; I sit and sing   _
and it is as if the moon
accompanies me; then if I
dance, it is my shadow that   _
dances along with me; while
still not drunk, I am glad
to make the moon and my shadow   _
into friends, but then when
I have drunk too much, we
all part; yet these are   _
friends I can always count on
these who have no emotion
whatsoever; I hope that one day   _
we three will meet again,
deep in the Milky Way.
Climbing West of Lotus Flower Peak
Amongst the grandeur of Hua Shan
I climb to the Flower Peak,
and fancy I see fairies and immortals   _
carrying lotus in their
sacred white hands, robes flowing
they fly filling the sky with colour   _
as they rise to the palace of heaven,
inviting me to go to the cloud stage
and see Wei Shu-ching, guardian angel   _
of Hua Shan; so dreamily I go with them
riding to the sky on the back
of wild geese which call as they fly,   _
but when we look below at Loyang,
not so clear because of the mist,
everywhere could be seen looting   _
armies, which took Loyang, creating
chaos and madness with blood
flowing everywhere; like animals of prey   _
rebel army men made into officials
with caps and robes to match.
Drinking with someone in the Mountains
As the two of us drink
together, while mountain
flowers blossom beside, we   _
down one cup after the other
until I am drunk and sleepy
so that you better go!   _
Tomorrow if you feel like it
do come and bring your lute
along with you!
Going Up Yoyang Tower
We climbed Yoyang Tower with
all the scene around coming
into vision; looking up the   _
Great River seeing boats turn
and enter the Tungting Lake; geese
crying farewell to the river   _
as they flew south; evening falling
as if mountain tops upt up the moon
with their lips; and we in the Yoyang   _
Tower as if with heads amongst
the cloud, drinking wine as if the cups
came from heaven itself; then   _
having drunk our fill there blew
a cold wind filling out our
sleeves, it seeming as though   _
we were dancing in time with it.
Good Old Moon
When I was a boy I called the moon a
white plate of jade, sometimes it looked
like a great mirror hanging in the sky,   _
first came the two legs of the fairy
and the cassia tree, but for whom the rabbit
kept on pounding medical herbs, I   _
just could not guess. Now the moon is being
swallowed by the toad and the light
flickers out leaving darkness all around;   _
I hear that when nine of the burning suns out
of the ten were ordered to be shot down by
the Emperor Yao, all has since been quiet   _
and peaceful both for heaven and man,
but this eating up of the moon is for me
a truly ugly scene filling me with forebodings   _
wondering what will come out of it.
Looking for a Monk and Not Finding Him
I took a small path leading
up a hill valley, finding there
a temple, its gate covered   _
with moss, and in front of
the door but tracks of birds;
in the room of the old monk   _
no one was living, and I
staring through the window
saw but a hair duster hanging   _
on the wall, itself covered
with dust; emptily I sighed
thinking to go, but then   _
turning back several times,
seeing how the mist on
the hills was flying, and then   _
a light rain fell as if it
were flowers falling from
the sky, making a music of   _
its own; away in the distance
came the cry of a monkey, and
for me the cares of the world   _
slipped away, and I was filled
with the beauty around me.
On Kusu Terrace
The old gardens of Kusu Terrace
are a wilderness, yet the willows
that remain still put out new branches;   _
lasses gathering water chestnuts
sing so loudly and with such
clarity, that the feeling of spring   _
returns to us; but where once stood
the palace of the King of Wu, now
only the moon over the   _
west river once shone on
the lovely ladies there.
Song of the Jade Cup
A jade cup was broken because old age came
too soon to give fulfilment to hopes; after drinking
three cups of wine I wiped my sword and   _
started to dance under an autumn moon first
singing in a high voice then unable to halt
tears coming; I remember the day when first   _
I was summoned to court and I was feasted splendidly
writing poems in praise of the Emperor, making
jokes with officials around several times changing   _
my horse, taking the best from the
imperial stables; with my whip studded with
jade and coral presented to me by the Emperor,   _
my life was free and easy, people calling me
the "Banished Immortal." Hsi Shih was good
at smiling as well as frowning, useless   _
for ordinary girls to try and imitate her.
Surely it was only her loveliness the king adored,
but unfortunately jealousy within the palace   _
led to her death.
The Cold Clear Spring at Nanyang
A pity it is evening, yet
I do love the water of this spring
seeing how clear it is, how clean;   _
rays of sunset gleam on it,
lighting up its ripples, making it
one with those who travel   _
the roads; I turn and face
the moon; sing it a song, then
listen to the sound of the wind   _
amongst the pines.
Visiting a Taoist on Taitien Mountain
Amongst bubbling streams
a dog barks; peach blossom
is heavy with dew; here   _
and there a deer can
be seen in forest glades!
No sound of the mid-day   _
bell enters this fastness
where blue mist rises
from bamboo groves;   _
down from a high peak
hangs a waterfall;
non knows where he has gone, so sadly I rest,   _
with my back leaning
against a pine.