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The Selected Poems of Li Po



Reverence-Pavilion Mountain, Sitting Alone


The birds have vanished into deep skies.

A last cloud drifts away, all idleness.


Inexhaustible, this mountain and I

gaze at each other, it alone remaining.




At Golden-Ridge


Tucked into the earth, Golden-Ridge City,

the river curving past, flowing away:


there were once a million homes here,

and crimson towers along narrow lanes.


A vanished country all spring grasses

now, the palace buried in ancient hills,


this moon remains, facing the timeless

island across Hou Lake waters, empty.





Drinking Alone Beneath the Moon


Among the blossoms, a single jar of wine.

No one else here, I ladle it out myself.


Raising my cup, I toast the bright moon,

and facing my shadow makes friends three,


though moon has never understood wine,

and shadow only trails along behind me.


Kindred a moment with moon and shadow,

I've found a joy that must infuse spring:


I sing, and moon rocks back and forth;

I dance, and shadow tumbles into pieces.


Sober, we're together and happy. Drunk,

we scatter away into our own directions:


intimates forever, we'll wander carefree

and meet again in Milky Way distances.

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