行路難 - 李白
A Difficult Road to Travel - Li Bai
A golden goblet of clear wine worth a hundred upon hundreds, a jade platter of sumptuous delicacies worth ten-thousand.
Not being able to eat my glass halts and chopsticks fly, as uncharted feelings overflow I unsheathe my sword and look around.
The Yellow River freezes just as I wish to cross it, Mount Taishan’s covered in snow just as I wish to traverse it.
I come once again to fish in the emerald stream, suddenly I dream I board a boat destined for the sun.
A difficult road to travel! A difficult road to travel! Countless forks in the road, where is my road today?
There will be a time when a steady wind breaks the waves, when a tall sail flown straight will traverse the deep blue sea.
The ways forward are as limitless as the sky, I alone cannot find my path.
I do not wish to follow Chang’an youth, betting pears and chestnuts on red cocks and white pheasants.
Feng Xuan retired his sword and aired his grievances, I will not scrape and bow at aristocratic doors.
Huaiyin’s day laborers laughed at Han Xin, Han court’s lords and ministers envied Jia Sheng.
Look, King Zhao of Yan understood Guo Wei’s talent, and wisely showed humility without suspicion.
Ju Xin and Le Yi felt the Zhao’s kindness, and loyally used their skills for their master’s benefit.
King Zhao’s white bones are already entangled in weeds, who like him will clean the golden pavilion to attract advisors?
A difficult road to travel, I return from whence I came.
Don’t be like Xu You and wash you ears in Yingzhou waters, don’t be like Bo Yi and Shu qi and eat ferns from Mount Shouyang.
The best is to dive into the world and live without fame, what use is being higher than clouds and the moon alone?
I look through history books and see prominent people, those who did not retire after success all perished.
Zi Dan was thrown into the Wu River, Qu Yuan drowned at the bank of the Xiang River.
Could even the talented hero Lu Ji protect himself? Li Si died while resting on the road.
Can I hear the swan sing once again on the glorious gazebo? Is it worth saying you want to hunt once again when you’re about to die?
Study how Zhang Han handled himself after success, an autumn wind blows and he remembers to return to his homeland.
Saying he preferred one cup of wine while living, rather than to be remembered for all time after death.