Goodbye At The River by Li Po

In this little river town
the autumn rain lets up
the wine’s all gone
well then, goodbye!

you stretch out in your boat
the sail fills, you skim home
past islands burning with flowers
banks crowded with willows

what about me? I don’t know
I think I’ll go sit
on that big rock
and fish

translated by David Young

from The Hard Road by Li Po

I would cross the Yellow River, but ice chokes the ferry;
I would climb the T’ai-hang Mountain, but the sky is blind with snow. . .
I would sit and poise a fishing-pole, lazy by a brook–
But I suddely dream of riding a boat, sailing for the sun. . .
Journeying is hard,
Journeying is hard.
There are many turnings–
Which am I to follow?. . .
I will mount a long wind some day and break the heavy waves
And set my cloudy sail straight and bridge the deep, deep sea.

translated by Witter Bynner & Kiang Kang-hu

Ruins: The Ku-su Palace by Li Po

The garden’s desert, crumbling walls, as willows green again.
Even the sweet song of spring’s a lament.
Nothing of what was, but the moon above the river,
moon that shone on a pretty face in the palace of the king of Wu.

translated by J.P. Seaton