Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Invitation to wine, 將進酒


This poem Invitation to wine could not have written by Li Bai without having been to the Hukuo Falls. 

I received an email from a reader of this blog who asked if I can kindly post the Invitation to wine poem by Li Bai with its translation in English after reading my last blog about places of interest in Shaanxi Province. It is said that Invitation to wine was Li Bai’s last poem. He died after composing this poem, drunk and drowned in the Yangtze River near today’s Anhui province while trying to embrace the moon’s reflection on the water.

將進酒       李白
君不見黃河之水天上來,
奔流到海不復還。
君不見高堂明鏡悲白髮,
朝如青絲暮成雪。
人生得意須盡歡,
莫使金樽空對月。
天生我材必有用,
千金散盡還復來。
烹羊宰牛且爲樂,
會須一飲三百杯。
岑夫子,丹丘生。
將進酒,杯莫停。
與君歌一曲,
請君爲我傾耳聽。
鐘鼓饌玉不足貴,
但願長醉不復醒。
古來聖賢皆寂寞,
惟有飲者留其名。
陳王昔時宴平樂,
斗酒十千恣讙謔。
主人何為言少錢?
徑須沽取對君酌。
五花馬,千金裘。
呼兒將出換美酒,與爾同銷萬古愁。


Invitation to wine by Li Bai

Do you not see the Yellow River come from the sky,
Rushing into the sea and never come back?
Do you not see the mirrors bright in chambers high,
Grieve over your snow-white hair though once it was silk-black?
When hopes are won, oh! Drink your fill in high delight.
And never leave your wine cup empty in moonlight!
Heaven has made us talents; we are not made in vain.
A thousand gold coins spent, more will turn up again.
Kill a cow, cook a sheep and let us be merry.
And drink three hundred cupful of wine in high glee!
Dear friends of mine,
Cheer up, cheer up!
I invite you to wine.
Do not put down your cup!
I will sing you a song, please hear,
O hear! Lend me a willing ear!
What difference will rare and costly dishes make?
I only want to get drunk and never to wake.
How many great men were forgotten through the ages?
But great drinkers are more famous than sober sages.
The Prince of Poets feasted in his palace at will,
Drank wine at ten thousand a cask and laughed his fill.
A host should not complain of money he is short,
To drink with you I will sell things of any sort.
My fur coat worth a thousand coins of gold,
And my flower dappled horse may be sold
To buy good wine that we may drown the woes of old age.

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