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The Rhyme Maker
Li Bai 701 to 762
Li Bai

Theme:  Defending Wine

Other English translations:
Drinking Song (Lowell)

Li Bai is also known as Li Po, Li Bo, Li Tai-po, and as  Rihaku (Japanese name).

Tradition dictated that wine was served in small cups about the size of a shot glass (1.5 oz /40 ml). Many of these were consumed “in a round” (2nd stanza). The number “300”, however, should be considered a poetic embellishment – hyperbole.
- S. H. Bass    

Special Note:  The Wine Poems of China

more Li Bai at

A Farewell Banquet (Lowell)
A Midnight Farewell (Obata)

A Mountain Revelry (Obata)

At The Ancestral Shrine Of King Yao (Lowell)

Before The Cask of Wine (Obata)

Descending The Extreme South Mountain (Lowell)

Drinking Alone by Moonlight II (Waley)

Drinking Alone On The Rock (Lowell)

Maid Of Wu (Obata)

On Being Asked Who He Is (Obata)

On The Yo-Yang Tower (Obata)

Sent As A Parting Gift (Lowell)

Taking Leave Of Du Fu (Lowell)

The Terraced Road (Lowell)

To Meng Haojan (Obata)

Two Poems Written As Parting Gifts (Lowell)

While Journeying (Obata)

With A Man of Leisure (Obata)

poems with multiple English translations:
After Being Drunk On a Spring Day (Lowell)
Awakening From Sleep On A Spring Day
Waking From Drunkenness on a Spring Day

Drinking Alone In The Moonlight I
Three With The Moon And His Shadow
Drinking Alone by Moonlight I
(Waley) A/V

Drinking Alone In The Moonlight II
A Vindication
Drinking Alone by Moonlight III

On The Eve Of Starting On A Journey (Lowell)
Parting At a Tavern of Chin-Ling

Old Tai's Wine-Shop
On The Death Of The Good Brewer

River Chant
On The Ship Of Spice-wood
The River Song
(Pound) A/V

The Solitude of Night
An Exhortation
Li Bai (701-762), Chinese poet
translated by Shigeyoshi Obata (1888-1971)

Do you not see the waters of the Yellow River
Come flowing from the sky?
The swift stream pours into the sea and returns
Do you not see high on yonder tower
A white-haired one sorrowing before his bright
In the morning those locks were like black silk,
In the evening they are all snow.
Let us, while we may, taste the old delights,
And leave not the gold cask of wine
To stand alone in the moonlight!

Gods have bestowed our genius on us;
They will also find its use some day.
Be not loath, therefore, to spend
Even a thousand gold pieces! Your money will
come back.
Kill the sheep, slay the ox, and carouse!
Truly you should drink three hundred cups in a

Come, Chin, my friend!
Dear Tan-chiu, too.
To you I offer wine, you must not refuse it.
Now I will sing a snatch of song.
Lend ear and hearken!
Little I prize gongs and drums and sweet-meats,
I desire only the long ecstasy of wine,
And desire not to awaken.

Since the days of old, the wise and the good
Have been left alone in their solitude,
While merry drinkers have achieved enviable
The king of Chen would feast in ancient days
At his Palace of Peace and Pleasure;
Ten thousand measures of wine there were,
And reckless revelry forever.

Now let you and me buy wine to-day!
Why say we have not the price?
My horse spotted with five flowers,
My fur-coat worth a thousand pieces of gold,
These I will take out, and call my boy
To barter them for sweet wine.
And with you twain, let me forget
The sorrow of ten thousand ages!

from The Works of Li Po, the Chinese Poet (1921)

The Works of Li Po, the Chinese Poet (1921)

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