Li Bai Poem: Mooring at Night Near Cattle Hill – 李白《夜泊牛渚怀古》












[1] 牛渚(zhǔ):山名,位于今安徽省当涂县西北,紧靠长江,其北端突入江中,形成了著名的采石矶。

[2] 西江:从南京以西到江西境内的一段长江,古代称为西江。《水经注》的“江水三”记载江水与湘水汇合,然后流入江西境内,冲刷出二夏浦,此处被称为西江口。

[3] 谢将军:李白诗题下原来有个注释说:“此地即谢尚闻袁宏咏史处。”谢将军即谢尚。

Mooring at Night Near Cattle Hill

Li Bai

I moor near Cattle Hill at night,

When there’s no cloud to fleck the sky.

On deck I gaze at the moon bright,

Thinking of General Xie with a sigh.

I too can chant, to what avail?

None has like him a listening ear.

Tomorrow I shall hoist my sail,

Amid fallen leaves I’ll leave here.

The poet thinks of General Xie who appreciated a poet chanting near Cattle Hill, but he can no longer find a connoisseur here now.


This poem is a poem written by Li Bai, a great poet of the Tang Dynasty. This poem is about the poet looking at the moon and expressing the sadness of not meeting his soulmate. The first couplet opens the door and points out the “night berth at Niuzhu” and its night scene; the jaw couplet transitions from moon gazing to nostalgia; the neck couplet returns from nostalgia to reality and sighs with emotion, expressing the deep sorrow of not meeting a soulmate; the last couplet opens the scene and imagines the scene of sailing away in the morning, highlighting the desolation and loneliness of not meeting a soulmate. The structure of the poem is clear, with ups and downs, magnificent imagery, fresh and timeless scenery without embellishment, and lyrical boldness and openness without coyness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *