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Du Fu: Song of Drunken Times

Song of Drunken Times

醉 时 歌
诸 公 滚 滚 登 台 省
广 文 先 生 官 独 冷。
甲 第 纷 纷 厌 梁 肉
广 文 先 生 官 不 足。
先 生 有 道 出 羲 皇
先 生 有 才 过 屈 宋。
德 尊 一 代 常 坎 坷
名 垂 万 古 知 何 用?
杜 陵 野 客 人 更 嗤
被 褐 短 窄 鬓 如 丝。
日 籴 太 仓 五 升 米
时 赴 郑 老 同 襟 期。
得 钱 却 相 觅
沽 酒 不 复 疑。
忘 形 到 尔 汝
痛 饮 真 吾 师。
清 夜 沉 沉 动 春 酌
灯 前 细 雨 檐 花 落。
但 觉 高 歌 有 鬼 神
焉 知 饿 死 填 沟 壑。
相 如 逸 才 亲 涤 器
子 云 识 字 终 投 阁。
先 生 早 赋 归 去 来
石 田 茅 屋 荒 苍 苔。
儒 术 于 我 何 有 哉!
孔 丘 盗 跖 俱 尘 埃!
不 须 问 此 意 惨 怆
生 前 相 遇 且 衔 杯。
Zui Shi Ge

Zhu gong gun gun deng tai xing
Guang wen xian sheng guan du leng.
Jia di fen fen yan liang rou
Guang wen xian sheng guan bu zu.
Xian sheng you dao chu xi huang
Xian sheng you cai guo qu song.

De zun yi dai chang kan ke
Ming chui wan gu zhi he yong?
Du ling ye ke ren geng chi
Bei he duan zhai bin ru si.
Ri di tai cang wu sheng mi
Shi fu zheng lao tong jin qi.

De qian que xiang mi
Gu jiu bu fu yi.
Wang xing dao er ru
Tong yin zhen wu shi.
Qing ye chen chen dong chun zhuo
Deng qian xi yu yan hua luo.

Dan jue gao ge you gui shen
Yan zhi e si tian gou he.
Xiang ru yi cai qin di qi
Zi yun shi zi zhong tou ge.
Xian sheng zao fu gui qu lai
Shi tian mao wu huang cang tai.

Ru shu yu wo he you zai!
Kong qiu dao zhi ju chen ai!
Bu xu wen ci yi can chuang
Shen qian xiang yu qie xian bei.


Song of Drunken Times

Continually, numerous people elevated into supervisory positions
Master of culture, Mr. Zheng, sent by himself into cold exile.
The corrupt and undeserving are bored with superfluous banquets
of meats and grains
Master Zheng’s position gets barely enough to survive.

Zheng’s integrity and merit follow the Dao and the example of Emperor Xi
He has the talent and ability to exceed both Qu and Song.
Often these kinds of people with virtue and respect live lives that are
bumpy and rough
What is useful about expressing the ten thousand things of historical and ancient knowledge?
This Duling country bumpkin visitor also experiences their sneers and ridicule
Wearing coarse materials with a minimum of cloth, temple hair like silk.

Today I buy five liters of rice from the government’s tall silos
This period of time shared with Mr. Zheng, we have the same breadth of mind
With his spare change we go look to buy wine, drink up before we can change our minds.
You and I forget we are two separate people
While drinking we learn of our common concerns
Clear evening, deep changes for spring time and us, pour more wine.

Light rain off the eaves, lamp light highlights the fallen flowers
Still singing loud songs to feel the presence of ghosts and spirits.
They need to know that our hunger and death may disappear like a
draining pond
Xiangru had hidden abilities while washing wine bottles for the
family business
Ziyun’s knowledge of word origins unmatched while he tutored others
for pennies.

Very early, Tao Yuanming wrote about his desire to leave government service
His rural seclusion included stony farmland, a thatched and grass house,
and pathways covered with green moss
Alas! Our Confucian intellectual skills appear so worthless to so many!
They view us as robbers kicking up dust into the air!
Such sorrow and tragedy to see the real criminals at the top
While we live, let’s take this opportunity to cherish our wine cups.


Master Zheng: A close friend of Du Fu.

Emperor Xi: Founder of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) and the first emperor of a unified China.

Duling: Tomb area near the capital city of Chang’an.

Xiangru: (c. 179-117 BC) Lived during the Western Han Dynasty. Considered one of the greatest fu (prose poems)  poetry composers in history.

Ziyun: (487-549) Famous calligrapher, and composed the history of the Jin Dynasty (265-420) inside 110 scrolls.

Tao Yuanming (365-427): Eastern Jin Dynasty poet. Biographical information and poems can be found on this website.

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