Laolao Ting, A Tavern


 
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李白







Laolao Ting, A Tavern
Li Bai 701-762

Here friends come, sorrowing, to say farewell,
O Laolao Ting, tavern where every heart must ache.
Here even the wind of spring knows the pain of parting,
And will not let the willow branches grow green.
 
Láoláo Tíng
Lǐ Bái 701-762

Tiānxià shāngxīn chù
Láoláo sòng kè tíng
Chūn fēng zhī bié kǔ
Bù qiǎn liǔtiáo qīng
 
Translator: Shigeyoshi Obata 小畑薰良

Notes:
The tavern was situated on a hill-top just outside the city of Nanjing; and the people seeing their friends off came as far as this place to exchange parting cups. We don't know the exact location of this tavern. The photo above is of the famous Yanziji, outside downtown Nanjing, on the shore of the Changjiang

The last line alludes to the Chinese custom of breaking off a willow branch and presenting it to a departing friend.
____________

From the book The Works of Li Po, first published in Tokyo, Japan in 1935, Excellent English translations by a Shigeyoshi Obata, a Japanese scholar.

 
 
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