the roadside hut of the old drunkard
the district of chu is enclosed all around by hills, of which those in the southwest boast the most lovely forests and dales. in the distance, densely wooded and possessed of a rugged beauty, is mt. langya. when you penetrate a mile or two into this mountain you begin to hear the gurgling of a stream, and presently the stream — the brewer's spring — comes into sight cascading between two peaks. rounding a bend you see a hut with a spreading roof by the stream, and this is the roadside hut of the old drunkard. this hut was built by the monk zhixian. it was given its name by the governor, referring to himself. the governor, coming here with his friends, often gets tipsy after a little drinking; and since he is the most advanced in years, he calls himself the old drunkard. he delights less in drinking than in the hills and streams, taking pleasure in them and expressing the feeling in his heart through drinking.
now at dawn and dusk in this mountain come the changes between light and darkness: when the sun emerges, the misty woods become clear; when the clouds hang low, the grottoes are wrapped in gloom. then in the course of the four seasons, you find wild flowers burgeoning and blooming with a secret fragrance, the stately trees put on their mantle of leaves and give a goodly shade, until wind and frost touch all with austerity, the water sinks low and the rocks at the bottom of the stream emerge. a man going there in the morning and returning in the evening during the changing pageant of the seasons can derive endless pleasure from the place.
and the local people may be seen making their way there and back in an endless stream, the old and infirm as well as infants in arms, men carrying burdens who sing as they go, passersby stopping to rest beneath the trees, those in front calling out and those behind answering. there the governor gives a feast with a variety of dishes before him, mostly wild vegetables and mountain produce. the fish are freshly caught from the stream, and since the stream is deep and the fish are fat; the wine is brewed with spring water, and since the spring is sweet the wine is superb. there they feast and drink merrily with no accompaniment of strings or flutes; when someone wins a game of touhu or chess, when they mark up their scores in drinking games together, or raise a cheerful din sitting or standing, it can be seen that the guests are enjoying themselves. the elderly man with white hair in the middle, who sits utterly relaxed and at his ease, is the governor, already half drunk.
then the sun sinks towards the hills, men's shadows begins to flit about and scatter; and now the governor leaves, followed by his guests. in the shade of the woods birds chirp above and below, showing that the men have gone and the birds are at peace. but although the birds enjoy the hills and forests, they cannot understand the men's pleasure in them; and although men enjoy accompanying the governor there, they cannot understand his pleasure either. the governor is able to share his enjoyment with others when he is in his cups, and sober again can write an essay about it. who is this governor? ouyang xiu of luling.
the story of the old drunkard tower
the prefecture of chu is surrounded with hills on all sides. the wooded ravines of the south-west peaks are particularly beautiful. lo, there is lang ya hill shrouded in deep, luxuriant blue. after a few miles' walk in the mountains, the murmur of a stream will gradually come within hearing — that is the brewing fountain pouring down between two peaks. by turning round the peak along a bending path there appears a tower standing like a perching bird above the fountain — that is the old drunkard tower. who built the tower? a buddhist monk, the wise immortal. who gave it the name? the prefect refers to himself. the prefect comes to drink here with his guests. only a little drinking will make him drunk; and being the eldest he therefore calls himself the old drunkard. the old drunkard is not interested in the wine, but in the hills and rivers. the joy of hills and rivers, found in the heart, mingles itself with the wine.
to illustrate, the sunrise dispersing the mists over the woods, and the return of clouds dimming the caves below the rocks — this is the alteration of light and shade, which represents the morning and evening in the mountains. sweet smell emitting from the fresh wild grass; luxuriant shades made by the fine trees; the high, clear skies, windy and frosty; rocks standing out of receding water — these are the changes of the four seasons in the mountains. going out in the morning and coming back in the evening, one finds each of the four seasons has its different scenery, and the pleasure is inexhaustible.
as for the carriers on the road, the wayfarers taking rest under the trees, some shouting ahead and some score behind, and others bent with burdens going to and fro without a break — these are visitors from chu itself. to angle at the stream where the stream is deep and the fishes are fat; to brew the fountain water into wine where the water is delicious and the wine is clear; and with mountain game and wild vegetable placed before him in a confused manner — that is the prefect at banquet. the pleasure of revelry is music neither of string, no of bamboo. the shooters hitting the marks; the chess-players scoring victory; winecups and counters mixed together; and people sitting down and rising up with much noise — the guests are happy and merry. and amidst the crowd a man with a sallow face and white hair, being hardly able to stand firm — that is the prefect made drunk.
soon the sun touching the mountain, and the shadows of men being scattered in confusion — the prefect, followed by his guests, is going back. in the shades of the groves warbling is heard up and down — the birds are enjoying themselves after the departure of the visitors. the birds enjoy mountains and woods, but understand not the pleasure of men; and men enjoy the pleasure of following the prefect in excursion, but they know not what pleasure the prefect enjoys. he who shares their pleasures in drunkenness, and when awake can relate it in writing — this is the prefect. who is the prefect? — ou-yang hsiu of lu ling.
the pavilion of the drunken old man
chu zhou is surrounded with mountains. the forests and valleys on the southwest ridge are especially beautiful. lying in the distance, where the trees grow luxuriantly and gracefully, is the langya mountain. six or seven li up the mountain path, a gurgling sound grows clearer and clearer. it is from a spring that falls between two mountains. the spring is called the wine-making spring. the path turns and twists along the mountain ridge, and above the spring rests a pavilion perching aloft like a bird with wings outstretched. this is the pavilion of the drunken old man. who built this pavilion? monk zhixian, who lived in the mountain. and who furnished it with that name? it was the prefect, who named it after his own alias. the prefect often comes here to drink wine with his friends and he easily gets tipsy after a few cups. being oldest in age among his companions, he calls himself "the drunken old man". the drinker's heart is not in the cup, but in the mountains and waters. the joy he gets from them is treasured in the heart, and now and then he will express it through wine-drinking.
in the morning, the rising sun disperses the forest mists, and in the evening, the gathering clouds darken the caves and valleys. this shifting from light to darkness is morning and evening in the mountains. in spring, blooming flowers send forth a delicate fragrance; in summer, the flourishing trees afford deep shades; in autumn, the sky is high and crisp, and the frost, snowy white; in winter, the water of the creek recedes and the bare bedrock emerges. these are the mountain scenes in the four seasons. going to the mountain in the morning and returning home in the evening and enjoying the beauties of the mountain in different seasons is a delight beyond description!
carriers are singing all along the way, and pedestrians are taking rest beneath the trees. some are shouting from the fore and are answered by others from behind. there are hunchbacked old folks, and children led by their elders. they are people from chuzhou who have come here in an endless stream. some are fishing by the creek where the water is deep and the fish are big. the water itself is faintly scented and the wine brewed from it is crystal clear. upon the prefect's banquet table is a sundry layer of dishes, including the meat of wild beasts and the flavorings of edible mountain herbs. the joy of the feast lies not in the musical accompaniment of strings or flutes, but in winning the games, such as throwing arrows into the vessel, or chess playing. wine cups and gambling chips lay scattered in blithe disarray. the revelers, now sitting, now standing, cavort madly among themselves. these are the prefect's guests, and the old man with wizened face and white hair among them, who is half drunk, is none other than the prefect himself.
as dusk falls, one sees shifting shadows scattering in all directions. the prefect is leaving for home, and his guests are following him. the shadows of the trees are deepening, and birds are chirping high and low. the people are going home, leaving the birds free to enjoy themselves. the birds only know their joy in the wooded mountains, but are unaware of what makes the people joyful. the people only know that they are joyful on their excursion with the prefect, but are unaware that the prefect finds his joy in seeing them joyful. he, who enjoys himself with the people when drunk, and records this excursion in writing when sober, is the prefect himself. and who is the prefect? he is ouyang xiu of luling.
the arbour of the drunken graybeard
surrounding chu prefecture are all mountains. those standing in the southwest with wooded peaks and valleys are the most sublime. the one that commands a view of luxuriant forests, imparting a sense of seclusion and veiled beauty, is mount langya. a walk of six or seven li along the mountain trail brings one within earshot of gurgling water, which announces niang spring gushing out between two peaks. the path twists and the peak gives a changed aspect. then one comes in sight of an arbour soaring like a bird spreading its wings over the spring. this is namely the arbour of the drunken graybeard. who set up the arbour? the monk of the mountains called zhi xian. who gave it the name? his excellency the prefect. the prefect and his guests often come here to drink. even with a few sips, the former would become intoxicated, and being the oldest, styled himself the drunken graybeard. the drunken graybeard does not aim at wine, but at the splendid scenery. the delight it bestows is acquired by heart but deposited in wine.
the sun rises, the fog in the forests dissipates, and the stone caves become obscured as clouds are vanishing—the shift of light to darkness marks the passage of time from dawn till dusk. and then the wild flowers blossom, emitting their delicate fragrance, the woods are clad with lush foliage. again, nature is hoary with rime and stones stand out in the shallow stream—all this shows the changes of the four seasons in the mountains. setting out from morn and returning at eve, one perceives the different views in different seasons and the joy of admiring nature’s beauty is simply infinite.
as for the carriers singing on the way, the ramblers resting in the trees’ shade, the men walking ahead calling and being answered by those trailing behind, and the senile trudging with bowed bodies or the adults leading their children by the hand, all forming an uninterrupted passage of people to and fro—it is the chu folks sauntering on the mountain. angling in the deep stream teeming with fat fish, brewing aromatic wine with niang spring water, hunting for game and gathering wild edible plants—all this is for the preparation of a miscellaneous feast in honour of the prefect. the jocundity of the feast does not find expression in music. you can see the contestants shooting their arrows into the pots for prizes, the chess players winning their games, cups and goblets scatters in confusion, and people roistering in standing or sitting postures —it is the guests revelling. and the white-haired old man, stricken in years, lying prostrate in their midst —it is the prefect being inebriated.
then the sun is setting down the mountain ridges, and the excursionists are dispersing in different directions. the prefect is going home, followed by his guests. under the canopy of leaves, birds are warbling everywhere, for they are glad of the departure of the intruders. however, the fowls know the joy of wooded mountains, but they are beyond the knowledge of man’s happiness. and the folks know how to make merry in the company of the prefect, but they have no idea how his excellency enjoys himself. the one who is able to share the common mirth when intoxicated and put it down in refined description when sobered is none other than the prefect. who is the prefect? ouyang xiu of luling.
chuchow is surrounded by mountains; the woods and valleys to the southwest are particularly beautiful. one of the ranges, the langya, which can be seen from a long way off, is thickly covered with tall and graceful vegetation. after journeying on the mountainside for six or seven li, one begins to hear the sound of flowing water. it is the niang spring rushing out from between two peaks. placed amidst surrounding elevations and winding roads is a pavilion which juts out over the spring like the wing of a bird. this is the old drunkard’s pavilion, which was built by the monk chih-hsien and named by the prefect with an allusion to himself. he frequently comes here and drinks with his guests. he gets drunk on a few cups, and he is the oldest of all the topers. hence the self-imposed nickname—old drunkard. however, old drunkard’s heart is not set on the wine, but lies somewhere betwixt the mountains and the rivers. the delight of mountains and rivers comes from the heart, and is derived from wine.
when the sun rises, the atmosphere in the woods clears up. when the clouds come home, the mountain caves grow dark. this coming of brightness and darkness spells the arrival of morning and evening respectively in the mountains. now the wild grass emits a refreshing perfume; now exquisite trees grow luxuriantly and cast a deep shade; now wind and frost, high and pure, go their rounds; now the water becomes clear and the pebbles are exposed to view. these are the four seasons in the mountains. if we make our outings in the morning and come back in the evening, the landscapes of the four seasons are different and the pleasures they afford are unlimited.
people carrying burdens sing as they go, travelers pause to rest under the trees, those walking in front give a shout and those following behind respond. the travelers, with their backs bent, carry their children and come and go incessantly. these are the people of chuchow journeying on the road. when angle in the deep brook, we catch fat fish. when we make wine with the sweet spring water, it is clear and smooth to the palate. other mountain food and wild vegetable are assembled with these and set on the table before us when the prefect gives his feast. even without wind or stringed instruments, the revelries become intense with arrow-throwing and chess, with drinking and wine games. now seated, now standing up, the guests utter loud noises, and have a marvelous time. little by little, the prefect, sitting in the center with his wrinkled face and gray hair, is seen drooping under the effect of the wine.
shortly after, the sun sets over the mountains, the shadows of the revelers are scattered around and the guests follow the prefect as he returns home. a pall of darkness covers the trees, while the birds warble here and there as the guests leave. however, while the birds know the delights of mountains and trees, they do not know those of men; and while men know the delights of traveling with the prefect, they do not know how the prefect enjoys their pleasures. it is the prefect who can share their pleasures while drunk and write about them while sober. who is the prefect? it is none other than ou-yang hsiu from luling.
the old drunkard’s arbour
the district of ch’u is entirely surrounded by hills, and the peaks to the south-west are clothed with a dense and beautiful growth of trees, over which the eye wanders in rapture away to the confines of shantung.
a walk of two or three miles on those hills brings one within earshot of the sound of falling water which gushes forth from a ravine, and is known as the wine-fountain; while hard by in a nook at a bend in the road stands a kiosque, commonly spoken of as the old drunkard’s arbour.
it was built by a buddhist priest, called deathless wisdom, who lived among these hills; and who received the above name from the governor himself. for the latter used to bring his friends hither to take wine; and as he personally was incapacitated by a very few cups, and was, moreover, well stricken in years, he gave himself the sobriquet of the old drunkard.
but it was not wine that attracted him to this spot; it was the charming scenery which wine enabled him to enjoy.
the sun’s rays, peeping at dawn through the trees, by-and-by to be obscured behind gathering clouds, leaving naught but gloom around, give to this spot the alternations of morning and night.
the wild flowers that exhale their perfume from the darkness of some shady dell; the luxuriant foliage of the dense forest of beautiful trees; the clear frosty wind; and the naked boulders of the lessening torrent;—these are the indications of spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
morning is the time to go thither, returning with the shades off night; and although the place presents a different aspect with the changes of the season, its charms are subject to no interruption, but continue always.
burden-carriers sing their way along the road, travellers rest awhile under the trees; shouts from one, responses from another; old people hobbling along; children in arms, children dragged along by hand; backwards and forwards all day long without a break;—these are the people of ch’u.
a cast in the stream, and a fine fish taken from some spot where the eddying pools begin to deepen; a draught of cool wine from the fountain; and a few such dishes of meats and fruits as the hills are able to provide;—these, nicely spread out beforehand, constitute the governor’s feast.
and in the revelry of the banquet hour there is no thought of toil or trouble. every archer hits his mark, and every player wins his partie; goblets flash from hand to hand, and a buzz of conversation is heard as the guests move unconstrainedly about. among them is an old man with white hair, bald at the top of his head. this is the drunken governor, who, when the evening sun kisses the tips of the hills, and the falling shadows are drawn out and blurred, bends his steps homewards in company with his friends. then in the growing darkness are heard sounds above and below: the beasts of the field and the birds of the air are rejoicing at the departure of man. they, too, can rejoice in hills and trees, but they cannot rejoice as man rejoices.
so also the governor’s friends. they rejoice with him, though they know not at what it is that he rejoices. drunk, he can rejoice with them; sober, he can discourse with them;—such is the governor. and should you ask who is the governor, i reply, “ou-yang hsiu of lu-ling.”
（herbert a. giles 译）
the pavilion of an old drunkard
the town of chu is encircled by hills. however, those in the southwest boast the most fascinating forests and valleys. yet the most lushly verdant and beautifully secluded among them is mount langya. hiking one to two miles into it, you begin to hear water gurgling, and that gurgling sound will usher you to a natural fountain—the brewing spring, where a stream of water gushes out between two peaks. rounding the bend and winding along the track, you will see, perched right above the fountain, a pavilion with its roof spreading upward like a big open-winged bird, and that is the pavilion of an old drunkard. who built it, you may wonder? it is zhixian, the monk in the mountain! who named it? the governor, after his own nickname! once, the governor brought his friends here to hobnob. because he was the most senior and soon got tipsy, he thus referred to himself as “an old drunkard”. however, what he is interested in is not to get drunk from the wine, but to get intoxicated with the scenery, for the fun with scenery comes from one’s heart but enlivens in the cup.
when the sun rises, the mist in the forests lifts; when the sky hazes over, the valleys blur. this alternation of brightness and dimness characterizes the mornings and dusks in the hills. when the wild flowers bloom, a faint fragrance permeates; when the sturdy trees flourish, they turn bosky and bowery; when the wind drifts high, frost appears white; when the water recedes, rocks emerge. these shifts typify the four seasons in the hills. and so, the varied scenes of the four seasons you see during your morning visit here or upon your evening home-returning will give you endless pleasure.
therefore, now on this path, which is frequented by all kinds of sightseers from the town, you can see people carrying travel packs and singing; hikers resting under the trees; fellow travelers ahead and those behind calling out to each other; the aged, the infirm, and even the toddlers in arms. the stream is deep, apt to breed fat fish; the water from the fountain is good for brewing aromatic and mellow wine. and now the governor’s feast is in progress, with dishes of wild game and wild vegetables casually laid out in front. what creates the joyous mood here is not string music, nor flute music, but the moment when all the invited jump up to cheer for a pot-target hitter, or a chess winner, or the vociferous finger-game competitors. amid them all is the intoxicated silver-haired governor.
soon the glowing sun sinks toward the hills, slanting and scattering the human shadows. the governor starts to leave, followed by his guests. the verdant woods are shaded, and the birds, rioting. the retreat of the humans brings cheer to the fowl and birds. yet the fowl and birds only know the happiness obtained from the hills and woods, but do not understand the humans’ happiness, and the guests only know the happiness of accompanying the governor, but not that their governor enjoys his own enjoyments, that is, when drunk, enjoying his guests, and when sober, enjoying writing down his prose. this is the type of governor he is! and who is he? ouyang xiu, a luling dweller!