Bring on the Wine

“Draft…”

Li Bai’s impassioned request to good friends, Cen Can and Dan Qiu, to drink wine, celebrate life, and make merry. I will let the reader decide if it should be “bring on the wine” or “bring in the wine”.

Li Bai’s 將進酒, is usually translated as “bring in the wine.” Phonetically, it is pronounced “jiāng jìn jiǔ” which might be hard to say if drunk, and maybe that is the point. Li Bai often drank alone or with the moon as his only companion. He must have relished this opportunity to drink with friends.

Sir, have you not seen
The waters of the Yellow River falling from heaven
Rushing to sea, not to return again?
Sir, have you not seen
In the Great Hall, the mirrors that grieve for grey hair
That once, in the morning, like black thread, by evening becomes snow
One’s small accomplishment is one’s joy in life
So, let not a golden goblet be empty and face the moon
Friend, if heaven made me, I must have a use
While I have squandered a thousand pieces of gold, and wait their return
Boil a lamb, butcher an ox, be of good cheer
Three hundred cups, drunk at once
Master Cen,
And you, Dan Qiu
Bring on the wine
While I sing you a song
The cups cannot stop!
All I ask is that you lend me your ear
Bells, drums, delicacies and jade are not expensive enough
Oh, how I wish to be drunk and never sober again
Since the beginning of time, a sage is a single thing
Leaving to those who drink, to leave their names behind
A story is told, how the Prince of Chen held feasts at Pingle
With ten thousand cups, wild with joy
So, why does your host speak of having no money?
Because you must buy it, now directly go, I’ll drink with you
Take my lovely horse
And my furs worth a thousand
Better yet, call the boy let him swap both for the finest of wines
And together we three will erase the cares of ten thousand ages.

Unfinished…

Original Chinese characters

君不見
黃河之水天上來
奔流到海不復回
君不見
高堂明鏡悲白髮
朝如青絲暮成雪
人生得意須盡歡
莫使金樽空對月
天生我材必有用
千金散盡還復來
烹羊宰牛且為樂
會須一飲三百杯
岑夫子
丹丘生
將進酒
杯莫停
與君歌一曲
請君為我傾耳聽
鐘鼓饌玉不足貴
但願長醉不復醒
古來聖賢皆寂寞
惟有飲者留其名
陳王昔時宴平樂
斗酒十千恣欢谑
主人何為言少錢
徑須沽取對君酌
五花馬
千金裘
呼兒將出換美酒
與爾同銷萬古愁

wine-cellar

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One thought on “Bring on the Wine

  1. Pingback: Bring in the wine – Leaving Oz

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