Longmen Caves near Bai Juyi's home in Luoyang
Thinking of the Past
Bai Juyi 772-846
In an idle hour I thought of former days
And former friends seemed to be standing in the room.
And then I wondered 'Where are they now'?
Like fallen leaves they have tumbled to the Nether Springs.
Hanyu swallowed his sulphur pills,
Yet a single illness carried him straight to the grave.
Yuan Zhen smelted autumn stone,
But before he was old, his strength crumbled away.
Master Du possessed a cinnabar receipt;
All day long he fasted from strong meats.
The Lord Cui, trusting in the power of drugs,
Through the whole winter wore his summer coat.
Yet some by illness and some by sudden death...
All vanished ere their middle years were passed.
Only I, who never dieted myself,
Have succeeded in living to a ripe old age.
I who in young days
Yielded lightly to every lust and greed;
Whose palate craved only for the richest meat
And knew nothing of mercury or lead.
When hunger came, I gulped steaming food;
When thirst came, I drank from the frozen stream.
With verse I laboured the spirite of my Five Guts;
With wine I deluged the three Vital Spots.
Yet by day joining fissures and breaks
I have lived till now almost sound and whole.
There is no gap in my two rows of teeth;
Limbs and body till serve me well.
Already I have opened my seventh set of years;
Yet I eat my fill and sleep quietly.
I drink, while I may, the wine that lies in my cup,
And all else commit to Heaven's care.
Bái Jūyì 772-846
Xiánrì yī sī jiù,
Jiùyóu rú mù qián.
Zài sī jīn hé zài，
Língluò guī xià quán.
Tuìzhī fú liúhuáng，
Yí bìng qì bù quán.
Wēizhī liàn qiūshí，
Wèi lǎo shēn kè rán.
Dùzǐ dé dānjué，
Zhōngrì duàn xīngshàn.
Cuījūn kuā yào lì，
Jīng dōng bù yī mián.
Huò jí huò bào yāo，
Xī bú guò zhōngnián.
Wéi yǔ bù fú shí，
Lǎo mìng fǎn chíyán.
Kuàng zài shàozhuàng shí，
Yì wéi shìyù qiān.
Dàn dān hūn yǔ xuè，
Bù shí gǒng yǔ qiān.
Jī lái tūn rè wù，
Kě lái yǐn hán quán.
Shī yì wǔzàngshén，
Jiǔ gǔ sān dāntián.
Suírì hé pòhuài，
Zhìjīn cū wánquán.
Chǐyá wèi quēluò，
Zhītǐ shàng qīngbiàn.
Yǐ kāi dìqī zhì，
Bǎo shí réng ānmián.
Qiě jìn bēi zhōng wù，
Qíyú jiē fù tiān.