Li Bai Poems : To His Three Friends

When the hunter sets traps only for rabbits,
Tigers and dragons are left uncaught.
Even so, men of blue-cloud ambition remain unsought,
Singing aloud at the door of their rocky den.

My friend, Han, you are rare and profound;
Pei, you possess a true clean breast;
And Kung, you, too, are an excellent man;
And all you three are lovers of cloud and mist.
Your stout and straight souls
Are loftier than the loftiest pine.
A flat boulder for a bed, you sleep together under one cover;
You hack the ice and sip water from the winter stream;
You own two pairs of shoes to wear among you three.

Once wandering as you please
Like the vagrant clouds,
You came out of the mountains to greet the governor.
Indifferently you wore cap and mantle a while,
Whistling long.

Last night you dreamed of returning to your old haunt,
And enjoying, you say, the moon of the Bamboo Valley.
This morning outside the east gate of Luh
We spread the tent and drink the farewell cup.

Be careful as you go!
The cliffs are snowy, and your horses may slip;
And the road of tangled vines may perplex you.
Pray remember,
My thoughts of longing are like the smoke grass,
That grows always in profusion, winter or spring!

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Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 01:22

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Li Bai

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