To Meng Haoren (2)

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Path from Han River to Lumenshan in the distance

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To Meng Haoren (2)
        Li Bo 699-762

I like you, my friend, Meng,
Your love of beauty is something known
        to everybody under heaven.
When young with red cheeks
        you cast aside your carriage and cap,
Now that your head is white
        you lie among pine trees and clouds.
You get drunk with the moon
        as often as with the transparent wine,
And to the honor of searving the emperor
        you prefer the rapture of blossoms.
Your nobility looms up like a high mountain
        too high for others to attain to,
But they may breathe the rare fragrance
        that your soul imparts.
Zèng Mèng Hàorán (2)
Lǐ Bó 699-762

Wú ài Mèng Fūzǐ,
Fēngliú Tiānxià wén.
Hóng yán qì xiānmiān,
Báishǒu wò sōng yún.
Zuì yuè pín zhōng shèng,
Mí huā bù shì jūn.
Gāoshān ān kě yǎng,
Tú cǐ yì qīngfēn.
Translator: Shigeyoshi Obata 小畑薰良

There are four translations of this poem on MopuntainSongs. the first by Dongpo in 2003, the second by Shigeyoshi Obata in 1922 in his seminal 'The Works of Li Po', the third by Stephen Owen in 1981 in 'The Great Age of Chinese Poetry', a must read!, and the fourth, again by Dongbo in January, 2006. 'Time Changes Everything', as the country song goes. And everybody's translation is his or her's alone.

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