Li Bai: On the River Chants

On the River Chants

江 上 吟
木 兰 之 枻 沙 堂 舟
玉 箫 金 管 坐 两 头。
美 酒 樽 中 置 千 斛
载 妓 随 波 任 去 留。
仙 人 有 侍 乘 黄 鹤
海 客 无 心 随 白 鸥。
屈 平 词 赋 悬 日 月
楚 王 台 榭 空 山 丘。
兴 酣 落 笔 摇 五 岳
诗 成 啸 傲 凌 沧 洲。
功 名 富 贵 若 长 在
汉 水 亦 应 西 北 流。
Jiang Shang Yin

Mu lan zhi yi sha tang zhou
Yu xiao jin guan zuo liang tou.
Mei jiu zun zhong zhi qian hu
Zai ji sui bo ren qu liu.

Xian ren you shi cheng huang he
Hai ke wu xin sui bai ou.
Qu ping ci fu xuan ri yue
Chu wang tai xie kong shan qiu.

Xing han luo bi yao wu yue
Shi cheng xiao ao ling cang zhou.
Gong ming fu gui ruo chang zai
Han shui yi ying xi bei luo.

 

On the River Chants

Lan wooden oars, shatang wooden boats
Jade flute players, face one way, golden horns face the other way.
Very large and fine wine vessels occupy the center
Song and music ladies come and go over time.

Immortals have to wait to mount the yellow cranes
Ocean visitors without plans, follow the white seagulls.
Quyuan’s poems continue to orbit with sun and moon
Mountain burial terrace and pavilion of Emperor Chu is empty.

Merrily I arise, write and paint the Five Sacred Mountains
Finished poem pride, I sit atop the whole continent.
If scholarly honor and wealth exist for a long time
Then the Han River will also flow from the west to the north.

 

Notes:

Lan: Lily magnolia trees

Shatang river boats: Made from the wood of a variety of cherry trees.

Quyuan poems:  (343-278 BC) Famous and early major poet and politician. Noted as the author of Li Sao and inspiration for the the Dragon Boat Festival.

Five Sacred Mountains: Imperial pilgrimage sites and sacred to Daoists and Buddhists. They are  Mts. Song, Heng, Heng, Tai and Hua.

Han River:  Longest and major tributary to the Changjiang.

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