If High Heaven had no love for wine

by Li Bai

English version by Arthur Waley
Original Language Chinese

If High Heaven had no love for wine,
There would not be a Wine Star in the sky.
If Earth herself had no love for wine,
There would not be a city called Wine Springs.
Since Heaven and Earth both love wine,
I can love wine, without shame before God.
Clear wine was once called a Saint;
Thick wine was once called "a Sage."

Of Saint and Sage I have long quaffed deep,
What need for me to study spirits and hsien?
At the third cup I penetrate the Great Way;
A full gallon -- Nature and I are one...
But the things I feel when wine possesses my soul
I will never tell to those who are not drunk.

-- from More Translations from the Chinese, Translated by Arthur Waley

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If High Heaven had