Li Po - Drinking alone by moonlight
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
One of Li Bai's best known poems and a good example of his writing is his Drinking Alone by Moonlight (月下獨酌, pinyin: Yuè Xià Dú Zhuó), which has been translated into English by various authors, including this translation, by Arthur Waley:
花間一壺酒。 A cup of wine, under the flowering trees;
獨酌無相親。 I drink alone, for no friend is near.
舉杯邀明月。 Raising my cup I beckon the bright moon,
對影成三人。 For he, with my shadow, will make three men.
月既不解飲。 The moon, alas, is no drinker of wine;
影徒隨我身。 Listless, my shadow creeps about at my side.
暫伴月將影。 Yet with the moon as friend and the shadow as slave
行樂須及春。 I must make merry before the Spring is spent.
我歌月徘徊。 To the songs I sing the moon flickers her beams;
我舞影零亂。 In the dance I weave my shadow tangles and break.
醒時同交歡。 While we were sober, three shared the fun;
醉後各分散。 Now we are drunk, each goes his way.
永結無情遊。 May we long share our odd, inanimate feast,
相期邈雲漢。 And meet at last on the Cloudy River of the sky.
(Note: the "Cloudy River of the sky" refers to the Milky Way)