drinking alone with the moon

A pot of wine before me amidst the flowers:
I drink alone–there’s none to drink with me.
Lifting my cup to invite the brilliant moon,
I find that with my shadow we are three.
Though the moon does not know how to drink,
And shadow in vain follows me,
Let me their company for the moment,
For while it’s spring one should be care-free.
As I sing, the moon lingers about;
As I dance, my shadow seems to fly.
When still sober we enjoy ourselves together;
When rapt with wine we bid each other good-bye.
Let us form a friendship free from passions
And meet in yonder distant sky.

Li Po

nights of joy

Ah, many the long night thou and I
Have passed at ease with the wine-crowned cup,
Till the red dawn gleamed in the night-dim sky
And the stars of morn in the east rose up,
And along the west the stars of night
Like defeated armies pressed their flight.

Then the brightest of joys were ours to gain.
With never a care in the world to cloud,
And pleasure untouched by the hand of pain,
Were delight with eternal life endowed:
But alas! that even the fairest boon
Is doomed, like night, to be spent too soon.

Ibn Zaydun

gold, death, wine

If gold could buy life,
I would guard my wealth
with jelaous desire,
and when death came
he would take some
and leave me alone.
Yet being mortal
I cannot prolong
my life, so why
should I cry or moan ?
If we must die,
What good is gold?
So bring sweet wine,
and when I’ve drunk
bring my good friends.
I’ll lie on a soft bed
and be lost in love.

The Anakreonteia