☯ ISSTH Chapter 441 ☯

Companies in China usually have an “end of the Lunar year party” complete with performances and stuff. For my performance I translated a relatively famous Chinese poem into English (no translation existed before), then read it in Chinese and English. This poem was written by legendary general Cao Cao from the Three Kingdom Periods, upon which a common idiom is based. If you’d like to read my translation, check the jump.

Chapter 441
Translator: Deathblade
Contributors: Madam Deathblade, anonpuffs
Proofreaders: Lingson, Yascob
Memes: Deathblade
Meme Archives: joeljbright
Sponsors: Frank Contreras

Many thanks to Fellow Daoist Frank Contreras for bringing the fourth sponsored chapter of the week!


Faced with wine, one must sing
Cao Cao

Faced with wine, one must sing
Life is short, and time flies by.

As innumerable as morning dew,
Are the bitter pains of the past.

Sing with passion and ardor,
For troubled thoughts are not easily forgotten.

How can sorrows be relieved?
Only by means of sweet wine.

The azure robe of the scholar
Reminds me of days gone by.

It is because of them
That I sing softly to myself.

The deers call out softly
As they graze on the country slopes.

When esteemed guests arrive,
I entertain with harp and flute.

The bright moon hangs in the sky,
Will it ever cease its journey?

Sorrows spring up from the heart,
Unceasing and unstoppable.

Guests tread the twisted paths
On their way to pay a visit.

We meet again to feast and chat,
To reminisce about old times.

The moon is out, the stars glitter,
Black magpies fly south to roost.

They circle thrice with no success,
Where will they find a sheltering tree?

Mountains do not belittle pebbles,
Oceans do not belittle streams.

The Duke of Zhou rejected food in favor of virtue,
Only such men as he can inspire all under Heaven.

25 thoughts on “☯ ISSTH Chapter 441 ☯” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

  1. The poem reminds me of one by American poet E.A Robinson called Mr. Flood’s Party.
    The themes of drink, the moon, memories and growing old are shared.
    I’m not sure if it would ever have been translated into chinese, but it is a good one.
    And there was a good bar in my college town of the same name.

  2. thanks for the chapter Patriarch DB!
    ‘The Duke of Zhou rejected food in favor of virtue,
    Only such men as he can inspire all under Heaven.’
    Grandmaster Zhou?!!

  3. That’s an awesome poem. I wonder, do Chinese poems usually rhyme? I know it’s basically impossible to translate it into English and have it rhyme and still retain the same meaning.
    Anyway, thanks for the chapter!

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