JIANG JIN JIU (WINE WILL BE SERVED)

JIANG JIN JIU (WINE WILL BE SERVED)

BY LI BAI (TANG DYNASTY –701-762 AD)

TRANSLATED BY WONKY WIZARD

Have you not seen

The downpour into the Yellow River, a heavenly scene

Its torrent gushes into the ocean

And the return stream not reckon

(Have you not seen)

The weariness in your parents’ white lock

A clear reflection of aging in shock.

At the dawn of life, as black as silk, shines

At dusk, shows snowy lines.

When happy opportunities appear

Fulfill them here and dear

Do not let our golden cups emptied of wine

Under such bright moonshine.

The talent I am blissfully endowed

My skill will facilitate what I have avowed

A thousand teals of gold may be squandered

Its value, in kinds and ways, will be recovered

Gastronomical delight of beef and lamb is served

A binge of three hundred cups will be observed.

To Master Cen,

To Scholar Dangiu

Wine is now served

Do not be reserved

I shall sing to both soon

Attentively, your ears, attune

Bells, drums and rare jade are not worthy or grand,

Wish we are forever drunk and in dreamland

In ancient times, lonely sages are not remembered.

Only wine drinkers have their names sculptured.

In the past, Prince Chen held a grand banquet in his palace

In pursuit of hedonistic indulgence par excellence

At a cost of ten thousand silver pieces

For a mere dipperful of wine dashes

As your host, money is never in doubt

To procure more wine for our bout.

My spotted horse and fur worth a thousand

My son to trade and buy wine on errand

Together we shall drown away

The million miseries of bygone days.

李白:进酒

君不见,黄河之水天上来,奔流到海不复回。
君不见,高堂明镜悲白发,朝如青丝暮成雪。
人生得意须尽欢,莫使金樽空对月!
天生我材必有用,千金散尽还复来。
烹羊宰牛且为乐,会须一饮三百杯!
岑夫子,丹丘生,将进酒,君莫停!
与君歌一曲,请君为我侧耳听!
钟鼓馔玉不足贵,但愿长醉不愿醒!
古来圣贤皆寂寞,惟有饮者留其名!
陈王昔时宴平乐,斗酒十千恣欢谑。
主人何为言少钱?径须沽取对君酌。
五花马,千金裘,呼儿将出换美酒,与尔同消万古愁!

NB Apology for any mistranslation, for I am not chinese educated.

6 thoughts on “JIANG JIN JIU (WINE WILL BE SERVED)

  1. 韩瑞雅 (Hán Ruì Yǎ)

    actually Chinese write their surname first and then the given name. 🙂 I am reading this line
    钟鼓 馔玉 不足贵, 但愿 长醉 不复醒。
    bell and drum, jade, not worthy much, hope, dream for longtime will not wake up.

    Reply
    1. wonkywizard Post author

      Every translation is an interpretation. A ci poem is a lyrical poem to be sung. The phonic sound in Tang Dynasty also differs from modern Han Yu Pin Yin. Thereby, a word by word literal translation will render reading awkward. I take the liberty to have an end rhyme, and include the Chinese version to show the shortcoming in my translation. “Bells, drums and rare jade are not worthy or grand.” will be closer to the original text. Thanks.

      Reply

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