The Pavilion of the Old Drunkard
By Ouyang Xiu
Mountains embraced Chuzhou. All the peaks on the southwest were exceptionally beautiful, with their forests and valleys. Gazing into the distance, 1 found the one that was exuberant, deep, serene, and graceful一the Langya Mountain. 1 walked about six or seven li up the mountain and gradually heard the gurgling sound of the running water, and then I found the Fermentation Spring lying right in front of me splashing out from between two peaks. The mountain with many twists and turns led me to a pavilion with eaves like wings, facing the spring—the Pavilion of the Old Drunkard.
Who built this pavilion? A monk on the mountain—Zhixian. Who named this pavilion? The Prefect named it, after himself. Whenever he came here to drink with his guests, the Prefect would quickly become drunk after drinking a bit; and because he was the oldest, he called himself “Old Drunkard”. But liquor did not rank first on the Old Drunkard’s mind. What he cared most was to be in the mountains and streams. The joy of the landscape filled in his heart, and drinking was merely a show of it.
若夫日出而林霏开，云归而岩穴暝，晦明变化者，山间之朝暮 也。野芳发而幽香，佳木秀而繁阴，风霜高洁，水落而石出者，山间 之四时也。朝而往，暮而归，四时之景不同，而乐亦无穷也。
When the sun came out, the mist in the forest dispersed; when the clouds piled up on the mountains, the caves in the cliffs darkened. This kind of transformations from brightness to darkness was dawn and dusk in the mountains. When wild flowers blossomed giving off delicate fragrances, when fine trees thrived providing dense shade, when the sky was clear with crisp air and the frost was white and pure, and when the water of the streams was low and the stones and rocks appeared—such were the four seasons in these mountains. If one climbed up here in the morning and returned in the evening, one would experience and observe the changing scenes throughout the four seasons and have the fun that would be likewise inexhaustible.
至于负者歌于涂，行者休于树，前者呼，后者应，伛偻提携， 往来而不绝者，滁人游也。临溪而渔，溪深而鱼肥；酿泉为酒，泉香 而酒洌。山肴野蔌，杂然而前陈者，太守宴也。
Men carrying loads on their backs sang along the road while travelers sought a rest under the trees. Those in front called out, while those lagging behind responded. The elderly with hunch-backs leading the young by the hand came and went ceaselessly—these were the people of Chuzhou on their outings in the mountain. They fished in the deep stream with stout fish; they made clear liquor with the sweet water from the spring. Mountain game and wild vegetables of all kinds were casually served. Such was the Prefect’s feast.
The gaiety of eating and drinking was not in the music by the strings and tlutes. Someone won at tossing arrows into a pot while another gained victory at chess. Cups and tallies crisscrossed. They shouted out as they jumped up or sat down. Such was the enjoyment of all the guests. And the man with furrowed face and white hair who sat slumped among them was the Prefect, drunk.
Soon, the sun set behind the mountain and the people dispersed. The Prefect returned home, followed by his guests. With the forest fomiing a dark canopy in the mountain, cries rang out all over—such was the happiness of the birds as the visitors left. The birds could only appreciate the enjoyment from the mountains and forests; they could not understand the joy of people.
The people could only appreciate the enjoyment from this outing with the Prefect; they could not understand that the Prefect was enjoying their joy. He who, when drunk, could share their joy and when sober, could put it into words, was the Prefect. Who was this Prefect? Ouyang Xiu of Luling.