by Li Bai (701-762)
By Myself Pouring Wine as the Moon Shines
From the filled jug of wine left within the blossoming bed,
I pour with no love nor family by. Loneliness sets in.
Drawn to its beam, I raise a brimming cup and face the moon–
an encounter that spawns a shadow. We’ve become a trio.
The aloof moon, as of late, has been declining to imbibe
and the faithful shaver, my shadow, follows my every move.
For tonight, anyway, we three will be boon companions.
Turned on, we’ll be stepping out. Spring leaves us too soon.
I try to sing, and the moon starts its little swaying move,
which gets me dancing till my poor shadow’s all confused.
With so much in common, we rouse to the time of our lives
until, in a drunken fog, we let go, dispensed into a cured world.
Ever cast to find passion in an age of fruitless wandering,
our feelings are mutual. I’ll see you in that cosmic cloudy dynasty.